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Francis Scott Key descendant slams Colin Kaepernick for national anthem protest

A woman from Longview, Texas, who is a direct descendant of Francis Scott Key — yes, the man who wrote the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” — has slammed Colin Kaepernick for his protest of the national anthem.

Shirley Isham, a verified great-great-great-granddaughter of Key, said “Kaepernick does not do himself any honor” by kneeling through the national anthem and maintains that “it’s a disservice to him.”

“When I hear [the anthem], I’m completely overwhelmed with emotion, because that song, it represents this country and the men and women who died for this country,” she said, according to KLTV. “I watched the Olympics, watched them get up on the podium, put their hands over their heart and the anthem played for them. And I stood up with my hand over my heart and I applauded. That’s how proud I was of them.”

>> Kaepernick responds to slam from ESPN's Trent Dilfer, calls comments 'ridiculous'

She added that Kaepernick's protest "offends me. I know it doesn’t offend a lot of people, [but] it offends me because it’s a personal thing. Because of who wrote it."

Isham elaborated in another interview with USA Today Sports.

>> Read more trending stories

“It just broke my heart to think that someone that gets so much money for playing a ball game, who is half black, half white, would do this,” she said. “So many of his black race are oppressed, but it’s not by the whites, it’s by their own people. Look who their leaders are, and the president. Has [Barack Obama] done anything for these people?”

She continued, "It’s very painful for me. It just blows my mind that somebody like [Kaepernick] would do what he does to dishonor the flag of this country and the national anthem when we have young men and women overseas fighting for this county, people that have died for this country.”

Florida school district: Students must have permission to kneel during national anthem

Orange County school district officials in Florida said students must have parents’ permission to kneel during the national anthem at sporting events, WFTV reported.

The issue has been making national headlines since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee in protest of social injustice.

>> Read more trending stories

Some athletes are starting to follow national players’ lead on the issue, although none did at a football game  Thursday night in Orlando between Evans and Jones high schools.

Several school districts said it has not happened in central Florida, but a southwest Florida school district said students needed written permission to kneel.

Orange County Public Schools officials said it has interpreted state law to treat the national anthem like the Pledge of Allegiance.

District officials said they like the policy on the Pledge of Allegiance, students may kneel if they have permission in the form of a letter from a parent.

“I have to stay neutral, but whatever they do, I’m going to support them. That’s really between that individual and their family,” Jones High School football coach Elijah Williams said.

A school district spokesman said that if any of the students had kneeled, they would not have gotten in trouble.

Orange County Public Schools said its legal team is still reviewing state law.

Florida statute mentions students should stand for the national anthem, but only mentioned students being excused by a written letter for the Pledge of Allegiance. 

NFL to spend $100 million to protect players from concussions

The NFL is launching a new initiative to protect players from concussions.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the league will devote an additional $100 million to concussion-related ventures as part of its Play Smart Play Safe initiative, on top of the $100 million that it is already spending on research.

>> Read more trending stories  

A news release said $60 million will go toward improving helmets for players, and the remaining $40 million will help fund medical research into the effects of head injuries.

Goodell told The Washington Post that the initiative "builds on what we've done the last few years but it takes it to another level in a variety of areas ... It's all about protecting our players."

The announcement came almost a week after Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered multiple helmet-to-helmet hits against the Denver Broncos.

Only one of those hits was penalized, and many were surprised that Newton didn't undergo concussion testing-procedures during the game.

The NFL has previously donated to medical research. It gave the National Institutes of Health $30 million in unrestricted funding in 2012.

That decision came under fire after a congressional report accused the league of trying to influence how the money was used.

Goodell also promised to hire a full-time chief medical officer by the end of the season.

Lady Gaga 'in talks' to perform at Super Bowl halftime show, report says

Lady Gaga may be on the edge of Super Bowl glory.

>> PHOTOS: Super Bowl 50: The entertainment

According to Billboard, the dance-pop diva is "in talks" to perform at the Super Bowl LI halftime show Feb. 5, 2017, at Houston's NRG Stadium, sources say.  

An NFL representative said of the claims, "We have had conversations with several fantastic artists about the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show. However, at this point, we do not have a final decision."

>> Read more trending stories

Lady Gaga sang the national anthem at last year's Super Bowl, which featured halftime performances by Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars.

Read more here.

Man in Tom Brady mask attends Patriots game, earns instant fame

Tom Brady was not on the field in Arizona, but the internet would have you think otherwise.

Someone wearing an extremely realistic-looking Tom Brady mask showed up to tailgate and watch the game.

>> Read more trending stories  

The man immediately earned the hash tag #FakeBrady.

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//;border=false"></script>[View the story "#FakeBrady goes viral" on Storify]

Radio announcer gives play-by-play of streaker during NFL game

Sometimes the game itself isn't riveting enough, but it is what happens between plays that makes the headlines.

That was the case Monday night when a fan jumped onto the sidelines and ran onto the field during the the 49ers -Rams game.

>> Read more trending stories  

It all went down during the fourth quarter and has taken over social media.

This call is without a doubt one of the funniest things I've ever seen/heard.....Posted by DeAngelo Williams on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The 49ers ended up winning the game, beating the Rams 28-0.

Kaepernick responds to slam from ESPN's Trent Dilfer, calls comments 'ridiculous'

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick responded to criticism from ESPN's Trent Dilfer on Monday night, slamming the analyst's comments that he should "sit in the shadows."

>> Seahawks stand together, link arms during national anthem before season opener

On ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" pregame show, Dilfer said Kaepernick, who has refused to stand for the national anthem in protest of racial inequality, "is a backup quarterback whose job is to be quiet, and sit in the shadows and get the starter ready to play Week 1."

Dilfer added, "Yet he chose a time where all of a sudden he became the center of attention, and it has disrupted that organization. It has caused friction, and it’s torn at the fabric of the team.”

>> Watch the video here

While speaking to reporters Monday, Kaepernick called the comments "ridiculous."

"I think that’s one of the most ridiculous comments I’ve heard," Kaepernick said, according to USA Today. "The fact (Dilfer) says, 'You are a backup QB, stay in your place.' That’s an issue.

>> 4 Miami Dolphins kneel during national anthem

"To me, you are telling me that my position as a backup QB and being quiet is more important than people’s lives. I would ask him to really have a conversation with the families of people that have been murdered and see if he still feels that way. Because I bet that he doesn’t, just because he hasn’t experienced that type of oppression.

>> Read more trending stories

Read more here.

Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams fires back after being called out for small tip

Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams is responding after restaurant workers criticized him Sunday night on social media for leaving a 75-cent tip on a $129 bill.

>> Read more trending stories  

Williams said he thought 75 cents was too generous for the terrible service that he received.

"I tried to leave exact change but couldn't," Williams said on Twitter. "I waited on my food for over 1.5 hours. (The waitress) got the order wrong, then she never asked (us if we wanted) refills and (she) took a dish back, removed what was on it and left a shrimp tail in my salad. Instead of asking for a manager, I simply didn't leave a tip for the hardly working server that expected a tip."

Williams, who said he used to wait tables and "be a bag boy," claimed that he waited for his food for more than an hour, and when the order came, it was wrong.

"I ordered chicken and shrimp in my pasta. They put (the shrimp) on my salad," Williams tweeted.

Johan Malcolm, who started the Twitter conversation and claimed to be the waitress' coworker, said the way that Williams ordered was wrong. 

"You should've been more specific on your order," he told Williams.

"I went over that order four times, and not only that, our food came out with our salads, and it wasn't a complex order," Williams replied.

Williams also asked why Malcolm singled him out when he was at a table with five other men.

Williams continued to insist that the service he received at the unnamed restaurant was unacceptable, while Malcolm maintained his argument: "How would you feel if you got (75 cents) no matter your service?"

"At the end of the day, you took up this server's time and energy, and you should compensate them for that," another Twitter user chimed in. 

"No, not for bad service," Williams wrote. "The service was terrible. If it was good, she would have gotten a $40 tip."

Williams answered questions from other commenters during the conversation, which lasted for more than an hour.

The Steelers take on the Redskins for their regular season opener Monday night.

4 Miami Dolphins kneel during national anthem

A national controversy that began on the West Coast and extended to the Pacific Northwest grew Sunday when four members of the Miami Dolphins kneeled during the national anthem as the National Football League attempted to mark the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11 in solemn fashion.

>> Miami coach Adam Gase addresses national anthem protest

Running back Arian Foster, safety Michael Thomas, linebacker Jelani Jenkins and receiver Kenny Stills kneeled on the Dolphins’ sideline in protest of racial inequality. The host Seattle Seahawks, including coach Pete Carroll, ended days of speculation about plans for a team-wide demonstration of unity by interlocking arms while uniformed Air Force veteran and firefighter Keith Taylor sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Moments earlier, the four kneeling Dolphins stood at attention during a moment of silence in honor of the victims of Sept. 11.

The Dolphins, who lost the season opener to the Seahawks, 12-10, took a cue from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sat for one rendition of the anthem and kneeled for another to show his objection for the way African-Americans are treated in the United States and the controversial handling of police violence.

Kaepernick’s actions triggered an emotional debate, with some saying it was the only way his concerns could be heard in a transcendent manner. Others argue it’s disrespectful of the flag and the military on any day — and doubly so on Sept. 11.

It struck such an emotional chord that many fans posting comments on social media said they would stop supporting the Dolphins if they failed to stand at attention during Sunday’s anthem.

Coach Adam Gase said he was unaware what his players planned, only that they assured him, “We’re not looking to do anything disrespectful.”

>> Read more trending stories

Gase added, “There’s nothing I’m able to say one way or the other because every person, it’s their opinion, it’s their right and my job is to coach a football team.”

Shortly after the anthem, the Dolphins issued a statement:

“We encourage all members of our organization to stand at attention during the national anthem out of respect and appreciation for the freedoms we are afforded as Americans. We also recognize that it’s an individual’s right to reflect during the anthem in different ways. We respect these liberties and appreciate the sacrifices that everyone has made for our country, especially on this day of remembrance. We hope today’s events will continue a respectful and thoughtful dialogue in our community on unity, inclusiveness and togetherness.”

CBS, which televised the game, downplayed the Dolphins’ protest as it unfolded. Although cameras found Foster during the anthem, he was obscured, so it was unclear to viewers if he was standing. A tight shot of Thomas gave the impression he was standing.

CBS soon had sideline reporter Evan Washburn report on the Seahawks’ demonstration, but it wasn’t until later that play-by-play man Ian Eagle informed viewers that the CBS crew “counted four Dolphins from our sight line” who kneeled. Eagle then named them.

“These guys are my teammates and everyone has a reason for doing what they’re doing,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said after the game. “That’s America. You just have to stand up for what you believe in and when the national anthem is over, be ready to play.”

>> Seahawks stand together, link arms during national anthem before season opener

With the Seahawks making vague comments about a team demonstration, fans braced for the opening of the season Sunday. Would Sept. 11 be awash with rebellious acts and possibly boos? In the end, a solemn tone prevailed in most stadiums. First responders, members of the military and players unfurled flags that covered most of the fields.

“It’s Sunday and here in America that means it’s time for football,” President Obama said in a video message played before all the games. “But on this day 15 years ago, the world was shaken, towers crumbled and thousands of Americans lost their lives.”

In Philadelphia, Vice President Joe Biden stood next to Eagles coach and former Dolphins quarterback Doug Pederson, holding the flag as a trumpeter played the anthem.

But in Kansas City, Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters held a black-gloved fist aloft during the anthem, copying the protest by U.S. track athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith on the medal stand at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

In Nashville, Titans linebacker Avery Williamson wore special cleats paying tribute to Sept. 11 while risking a fine from the league. Teammates and even police unions rallied to his defense, saying they would pay any fine.

>> Titans player who wished to honor 9/11 victims with special cleats gets major pushback from the NFL

Palm Beach Post staff writer Dave George in Seattle contributed to this story.

Seahawks stand together, link arms during national anthem before season opener

The Seattle Seahawks stood and linked arms during the national anthem Sunday before their season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

Word of the demonstration emerged Thursday when wide receiver Doug Baldwin first tweeted about a "demonstration of unity."

>> Click here to see the tweet

When approached in the locker room by reporters, Baldwin declined to elaborate further, saying, "You'll see on Sunday."

On Saturday morning, Baldwin rallied support for the demonstration on social media, posting a 42-second video and a quote from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

>> Watch the video here

“We are a team comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds,” Baldwin says in the video. “As a team, we have chosen to stand and interlock arms in unity.”

Many fans have expressed outrage on social media regarding any form of demonstration or protest while the national anthem in playing.

>> Read more trending stories

The Seahawks’ demonstration comes as a number of athletes have followed the lead of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of what he deems are offenses against African-Americans and other minorities.

Also on Sunday, Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster, safety Michael Thomas, linebacker Jelani Jenkins and receiver Kenny Stills kneeled on the sideline in protest.

>> 4 Miami Dolphins kneel during national anthem

Seahawks Hall of Famer Steve Largent told KIRO Radio last week that the national anthem is time for a player to stop, reflect and acknowledge sacrifices made for our country.

“That’s a moment as a player to stop, reflect and acknowledge that there’s been a lot of sacrifices made to get us to a point in this country, even to have to the opportunity we have as players to play this game, be paid as much as we do, and everything else,” Largent told KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don. “Taking a pot shot at some cause, whatever it is, during the national anthem is inappropriate.”

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