Review Category : National Sports

NFL QB Colin Kaepernick Set to Sit Out National Anthem Again on Military Night in San Diego

Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has said he plans to sit out the national anthem Thursday night, just as he did at a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last week and other games this summer before reporters took notice.

He says his protest will continue indefinitely. “When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent in this country, I’ll stand,” Kaepernick told reporters Sunday.

The 49ers’ game Thursday in San Diego (7 p.m. Pacific time) is particularly noteworthy because it is Military Night, billed as a tribute to “hundreds of thousands of current and retired military personnel who live and work in San Diego,” according to the San Diego Chargers website.

More broadly, Kaepernick’s pregame protest over, he said, the treatment of “black people and people of color” has garnered national media attention, driving a complex discussion about race and political protest in U.S. sports.

The timing of the Military Night is coincidental, a Chargers spokesman told The San Diego Union-Tribune earlier this week, adding that the team sponsors a Salute to the Military once every preseason.

Kaepernick’s protest of “The Star-Spangled Banner” first caught the attention of the media last Friday night, before a game in which he returned from injury. Since then, fan reaction to his decision has been split, frequently along ideological lines.

Some fans expressed anger toward Kaepernick, specifically regarding his perceived slight of the U.S. military.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he told NFL Media.

“To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” he said.

Kaepernick, 28, who was born in Milwaukee to a white mother and an African-American father, has said the protest is not meant to insult members of the military.

“I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country,” Kaepernick said of the criticism. “I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up.”

Still, it has not stopped fans from burning his jersey and other memorabilia bearing his name and image. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke in harsh terms about the embattled player, saying Monday, “Maybe he should find a country that works better for him.”

But Kaepernick has also received vocal support from others — like New York Daily News columnist Shaun King and from NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the latter calling Kaepernick “highly patriotic” in a op-ed published Tuesday in The Washington Post.

Veterans have stood up for Kaepernick on social media, and the hashtag VeteransforKaepernick went viral Tuesday night, adding a layer to the public debate.

It’s unclear how the public will perceive Kaepernick’s protest over time, but the reaction from a military-dominated crowd in San Diego Thursday night might offer some hints.

On the field, Kaepernick will be wrestling with a different drama from the one that has dogged him off the field in the past week: He is trying to keep his job with the team on which he rose to stardom in 2012, when he led it to its first Super Bowl in two decades.

Since losing that game to the Baltimore Ravens, Kaepernick has battled injuries and on-field inconsistency, leaving some analysts to speculate that he is at risk of being dropped by the 49ers, particularly with the vehement public reaction to his national anthem protest.

Dave Zirin, a sports editor for The Nation and a historian on sports protests, told ABC News Tuesday that Kaepernick’s precarious spot on the 49ers roster only served to strengthen the power of his protest.

“He’s really risking something by doing this,” Zirin said. “It’s all the more admirable that he could be cut by the 49ers.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Rep. Duncan Hunter: Colin Kaepernick Should Expect Boos in San Diego Game

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — As Colin Kaepernick prepares to take the field for the first time since sitting through a playing of the national anthem in protest, a California congressman is speaking out in opposition to the San Francisco 49ers’ controversial quarterback.

“He probably fits in very well in San Francisco,” Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter said in an interview on the ESPN/ABC podcast, “Capital Games.” “That might be one of the reasons that he’s able to do this or feel confident about it.”

Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran who serves on the House Armed Services committee, represents a district outside San Diego, the city where Kaepernick’s team will face the Chargers tonight.

Noting the large military community in San Diego, Hunter said Kaepernick should expect to be roundly booed.

“A city like San Diego is too patriotic,” said Hunter, adding that he believes Kaepernick would be out of a job if he played for the Chargers.

“I don’t think we’d have a player like him, frankly, I think he’d be booed out or the owners would be forced to not accept someone like him,” he said.

Hunter added that while he supports open displays of opposition to Kaepernick’s action, he doesn’t foresee a boycott of 49ers games.

“I think you can combat what Kaepernick’s doing with a show of force on the other side,” said Hunter. “That’s saying, ‘Hey, we respect the flag because it stands for something that’s constant, and that’s the sacrifices and what the American military has done for this country.’”

Reaction to Kaepernick’s protest has been mixed. Some members of the military are using the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick on social media to show their support for the quarterback’s right to protest.

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NFL Clears Three Named in Al Jazeera Documentary of Use of PEDs

Photos by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images. James Harrison (L), Clay Matthews (R)(NEW YORK) — Three NFL players linked to the use of prohibited substances in a documentary made by Al-Jazeera were cleared of wrongdoing, the NFL said Wednesday.

The league says it found “no credible evidence” that Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews or Packers defensive lineman Julius Peppers used or were provided with banned substances. That just about one week after the players were interviewed by league officials last week.

An NFL statement said that the league’s investigation, which began in January, included witness interviews, a review of records, electronic research and laboratory analysis.

Free agent defensive end Mike Neal was also named in the Al-Jazeera report and is still under investigation, ESPN reports. The league also interviewed retired quarterback Peyton Manning last month, clearing his name.

Baseball players Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman were also named in the documentary, but were publicly cleared by Major League Baseball last month following its own investigation.

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Big 12 Considering 12 Schools for Possible Conference Expansion

Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In its expansion exploration, the Big 12 Conference has narrowed a list of possible additions to 12 schools, ESPN reports.

The conference currently has ten schools in the fold, after seeing Nebraska and Colorado leave for the Big Ten and Pac 12 respectively in 2010. Sources told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and Jake Trotter that the league is considering the Air Force Academy, Brigham Young University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, Colorado State University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Houston, Rice University, the University of South Florida, Southern Methodist University, Temple University and Tulane University as potential additions.

Eight of the 12 candidates being considered are currently members of the American Athletic Conference, while two are members of the Mountain West Conference.

Among the schools eliminated from consideration, ESPN says, were Arkansas State University, Boise State University, East Carolina University, the University of New Mexico, Northern Illinois University, San Diego State University and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. It was not clear whether the University of Memphis made the cut.

The league hopes to make a decision on expansion by the time of its board of directors meeting in October. Before then, each of the schools still under consideration will make in-person presentations to league officials.

Sources told ESPN that the league is “becoming less and less likely” to expand from 10 teams all the way to 14, with an expansion to 12 teams — or remaining at 10 teams — more realistic.

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Angels’ Mike Trout Uninjured in LA Freeway Crash

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout walked away uninjured from a serious highway crash on Wednesday night that sent two people to hospitals.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler confirmed Trout’s involvement in the crash, saying that the 2014 American League MVP “feels fine.” He also said that Trout was expected to join the team on its trip to Seattle beginning on Thursday.

#Angels General Manager Billy Eppler released the following statement regarding Mike Trout:

— Angels (@Angels) September 1, 2016

The Orange County Register reported that one person had to be removed from a car using the Jaws of Life, citing Orange County Fire Authority Captain Larry Kurtz.

The incident took place on the 55 Freeway at about 9 p.m. ABC’s Los Angeles affiliate KABC-TV spoke to a witness who said that Trout appeared to be trying to avoid one crash on the freeway when the brakes on his Mercedes locked up, causing him to strike another vehicle.

Trout did not play in the Angels’ game Wednesday. He is hitting .319 with 25 home runs and 84 RBI this season.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 9/1/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest sports scores and winners:

L.A. Angels 3, Cincinnati 0

Detroit 3, Chi White Sox 2
Boston 8, Tampa Bay 6
Texas 14, Seattle 1
Houston 4, Oakland 3
Toronto 5, Baltimore 3
Cleveland 8, Minnesota 4
N-Y Yankees 5, Kansas City 4 (13 Innings)

Colorado 7, L.A. Dodgers 0 (GAME 1)
San Francisco 4, Arizona 2
Washington 2, Philadelphia 1
N-Y Mets 5, Miami 2
Atlanta 8, San Diego 1
Chi Cubs 6, Pittsburgh 5
L.A. Dodgers 10, Colorado 8
Milwaukee 3, St. Louis 1

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest sports scores and winners:
L.A. Angels 3 Cincinnati 0
Detroit 3 Chi White Sox 2
Boston 8 Tampa Bay 6
Texas 14 Seattle 1
Houston 4 Oakland 3
Toronto 5 Baltimore 3
Cleveland 8 Minnesota 4
N-Y Yankees 5 Kansas City 4, 13 Innings
Colorado 7 L.A. Dodgers 0
San Francisco 4 Arizona 2
Washington 2 Philadelphia 1
N-Y Mets 5 Miami 2
Atlanta 8 San Diego 1
Chi Cubs 6 Pittsburgh 5
L.A. Dodgers 10 Colorado 8
Milwaukee 3 St. Louis 1

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Gabby Douglas Gives Fans Health Update

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Looks like Gabby Douglas is on the road to recovery after missing Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards.

The Olympic gold medalist, 20, had been expected to present an award alongside the rest of the Final Five but, before the show, revealed on Instagram that she was “out of the hospital & resting comfortably.”

On Tuesday night, she gave a longer explanation for what had happened, posting an Instagram of her at the dentist’s office.

“Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know that I’m doing ok! I had a complication from a prior injury that caused a cyst to grow on a bone in my mouth. Got it removed and feeling much better now,” she captioned the picture. “Thanks for all your concerns and prayers and HUGE thank you to the doctors that have taken care of me these last four days!”

Though she’s on the mend, Douglas hinted that there may be more surgery in her future. She closed her message with the hashtag “butIstillgottagetthesewisdomteethout.”

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FSU Football Player Joins Boy With Autism Eating Lunch Alone

Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — A Florida State University football player who spotted a middle school student eating alone in a lunchroom and chose to sit at his table received a very public and heartfelt thank you from the boy’s mother.

FSU wide receiver Travis Rudolph was visiting Montford Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida, Tuesday when he saw the student, Bo Paske, eating alone and joined him at his table.

Bo’s mom, Leah Paske, wrote on Facebook that she was sent a photo of Rudolph eating with her son with the caption, “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son.”

Paske wrote that the photo brought her to tears. She explained her son has autism and when she asks him every day who he ate lunch with, the answer is often “nobody.”

“I had tears streaming down my face,” Paske wrote on Facebook of the photo. “I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten.

“This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes,” she wrote. “Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life!”

Paske’s Facebook post has been shared nearly 8,000 times since she posted it Tuesday.

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Vikings’ Bridgewater Suffers Major Knee Injury in Practice

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) — Minnesota Vikings practice was ended abruptly on Tuesday after quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a serious knee injury.

ESPN reports that Bridgewater suffered a torn ACL and a dislocated knee when he crumpled to the ground during a non-contact drill. The team released a statement which said that Bridgewater does not have nerve or arterial damage. Still, Bridgewater is unlikely to play this season.

Bridgewater’s leg gave out when he planted to throw a pass during a drill. Players reportedly threw their helmets and shouted, with many dropping to a knee in prayer. An ambulance took Bridgewater from the team’s headdquarters moments after the injury.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told ESPN that his message to Bridgewater was to “hang in there” and that the team is “with him.”

“We’re gonna grieve today and be upset about it,” Zimmer told reporters later on. “It’s more about our feelings for Teddy and for him as a person and getting better than it is about anything else. Teddy’s a great kid, and he’ll be back as soon as he possy can, if it is real bad. But we’re going to keep fighting.”

The team had hoped Bridgewater was prepared to take a major step forward in his third year in the NFL. Now, they will turn to backup quarterback Shaun Hill. Hill, 36, has played just 16 games over the past five seasons.

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Tim Tebow Works Out for MLB Teams

Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow showed off his skills in a different sport Tuesday, as he worked out for 28 Major League Baseball teams in his attempt to break into baseball.

Tebow got mixed reviews after the more than two hour workout. He showed power at the plate and impressive speed, but struggled with his throwing arm and his footwork.

Every MLB team except the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics sent representation to Tebow’s workout.

Tebow struggled against off-speed pitches from former major leaguers David Aardsma and Chad Smith, who threw to the University of Florida alum.

Tebow has not played competitive baseball since his junior year of high school in Jacksonville, Florida in 2005. He told reporters that he felt the pressure of the tryout. Still, he said, “this isn’t about publicity. It’s definitely not about money. I took a pay cut to do this. For me, you pursue what you love regardless of what else happens.”

“If you fail or fall flat on your face, and that’s the worse thing that can happen, it’s okay.”

Aardsma told the Los Angeles Times that Tuesday’s workout was the worst he had seen Tebow look. Aardsma had previously pitched to Tebow in a private workout last week. “It looked like he was trying really hard, overswinging a bit,” Aardsma said.

ESPN reports that Tebow hopes to play in the instructional league in Arizona next month, and perhaps play winter league ball in Latin America after the season.

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