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Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell applied at Dairy Queen before ending holdout

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell wasn’t taking any chances during his contract dispute. 

>> Read more trending news

The 25-year-old ended his holdout and reported to camp on Friday, but he was apparently willing to find another job if he could not hammer out an agreement with the team. 

The running back joked as he filled out an application for a position at Dairy Queen, according to Bleacher Report.

"I'm jobless right now," Bell said in a video that was tweeted Thursday. "I've got to get a job." 

Bell, who averaged 157 yards from scrimmage per game last season, stayed out of camp during August while he was not under contract.The Steelers failed to sign Bell to a long-term deal before the July 17 deadline for franchise-tagged players, ESPN reported.

Bell explained his actions via Twitter: 

But Bell had his sights set on returning to the Steelers’ camp on Sept. 1 and said as much on Twitter:

There was no word, however, as to whether Bell ever received a call from Dairy Queen for an interview.

Maryland private school bans Washington Redskins gear, citing ‘racial slur’

A Bethesda, Maryland, private school has made a decision about the Washington Redskins’ NFL logo and team name, saying it “feels profoundly at odds with (its) community’s mission and values.” 

>> Read more trending news

The Green Acres School website posted a pop-up letter from the head of school that announces that any and all Washington Redskins gear will be banned from the school premises heading forward.

In the lengthy letter, Head of School Neal M. Brown said third-graders and sixth-graders raising questions in class were the impetus behind moving forward on a long-time internal discussion.

The letter reads, in part, as follows:

“Last year, our community engaged in thoughtful and open discussions about the wearing of the Washington professional football team logo and the use of the term “Redskins” on campus. We first talked about it in the Staff Diversity Committee, then as a full staff, then with all of our Middle School students, and finally with several parents who joined members of the administration and the Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Students in grade 3 also raised the issue during their study of Native Americans, and then they and the 6th graders engaged in a discussion of ethnically and/or racially–derived sports team logos as part of last year’s celebration of MLK Day. “... The term ‘Redskin’ is a racial slur. Its use, whether intentional or not, can be deeply insulting and offensive. It is a term that demeans a group of people. Similarly, the team’s logo also can reasonably be viewed as racially demeaning. At best, the image is an ethnic stereotype that promotes cultural misunderstanding; at worst, it is intensely derogatory.”

Brown asserted that Green Acres is “an inclusive and uplifting community” that “welcome(s) people of any race, national or ancestral origin.”

“We cannot continue to allow children or staff members --however well intentioned -- to wear clothing that disparages a race of people,” he wrote.

Also on the website, the school describes itself as committed to the “principles of progressive education and to ongoing exploration of what this means in the 21st century.” The school teaches kids as young as 3 years old and as advanced as the eighth grade.

After the decision was made and the news got wind of it, Brown spoke with Fox 5 DC about his rationale.

He said that the football team name and logo, in his view, violated the school’s mission and diversity statement by being “at best ... an ethnic stereotype” and “At worst ... deeply demeaning.”

Green Acres School has been around in 1934. It was the first racially-integrated school in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Ohio judge rips Browns players for protest during national anthem

An Ohio Supreme Court justice who also was a Vietnam veteran criticized the 12 Cleveland Browns players who kneeled and prayed in a circle to protest silently during the national anthem prior to Monday night’s game.

>> Read more trending news

Bill O’Neill, whose family has served in the military for three generations, wrote on Facebook that he will no longer attend any games where “draft-dodging millionaire athletes” disrespect veterans, WJW reported.

“Shame on you all,” wrote O’Neill, who retired as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and Ohio National Guard and received a Bronze Star for his service during the Vietnam War. He also is a member of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

None of the Browns players who protested can actually be described as draft dodgers, since the U.S. military draft ended in 1973.

“Respect to all the veterans, respect to the military — we are not protesting against them. We have our reasons for doing what we did, and last night felt like the right time to do it, and that’s why we did it,” Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey told WJW on Tuesday.

O’Neill’s post attracted more than 350 comments and more than 1,000 shares. Some of the comments took the justice to task for not respecting the players’ right to peaceably protest under the First Amendment.

“I have been a fan of yours for years, but do I need to worry about free speech in Ohio?” one Facebook poster responded.

“How could anyone get a fair trial in your court if you denounce the constitutional rights you swore to uphold?” wrote another poster.

“No player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his exercise of free speech -- to do so is in violation of his rights under the Constitution and the NFL’s own regulations,” NAACP Interim President Derrick Johnson told WJW.

“I will not pay to witness the disrespect of the American flag. It really is that simple,” O’Neill answered back. “Yes, folks. You have freedom of speech. I also have the freedom of not paying $75 to listen to you. And if freedom of speech is so clear here, why not burn the flag on the 50-yard line?”

ESPN's Robert Lee pulled from Virginia game because of his name, report says

ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee was scheduled to call an upcoming University of Virginia football game, but in light of recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, the network has pulled him from that assignment because of the similarity between his name and that of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

>> Charles Barkley offers brutally honest take on Confederate statue debate

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch released ESPN’s statement on the situation, saying it was Lee’s decision to request a different assignment:

>> See the tweet here

>> Read more trending news

Lee’s decision to request a change of assignment comes on the heels of recent protests in Charlottesville, in which a counter protester, Heather Heyer, was allegedly killed by a white supremacist.

Read more here.

Take a look at this $72M high school football stadium in Katy, Texas

A new $72 million high school football stadium is ready for kickoff this season in Katy, Texas.

>> Watch the news report here

The 12,000-seat Legacy Stadium is the most expensive high school football stadium ever built and will be shared by eight local high schools. It boasts a massive video screen, huge locker rooms, restrooms and concession stands.

>> Read more trending news

The stadium was voted on and paid for by taxpayers in the area, according to NBC News.

“It’s something that this community wanted,” Katy ISD superintendent Lance Hindt told KTRK. “I don’t think the cost was anything that they really looked into.”

The stadium’s first game is slated for Aug. 31.

– Rare.us contributed to this report.

11 members of Cleveland Browns kneel during national anthem

Eleven members of the Browns knelt in protest during the national anthem before Monday night’s NFL preseason game between Cleveland and the New York Giants, the Plain Dealer reported. 

>> Read more trending news

According to the Plain Dealer, Those who took a knee were tight end Seth DeValve, running backs Duke Johnson Jr. and Terrence Magee, safeties Jabrill Peppers and Calvin Pryor, cornerback Jamar Taylor, wide receivers Kenny Britt and Ricardo Louis, linebackers Chris Kirksey and Jamie Collins, and running back Isaiah Crowell.

DeValve became the first white player to kneel during the national anthem, CBS Sports reported.

Standing with the group were punter Britton Colquitt, who had his hand on his heart; cornerback Jason McCourty; quarterback DeShone Kizer; defensive tackle Trevon Coley; and offensive tackle Shon Coleman, the Plain Dealer reported.

The Browns improved to 2-0 in the preseason with a 10-6 victory in a nationally televised game.

“As an organization, we have a profound respect for our country's national anthem, flag and the servicemen and servicewomen in the United States and abroad," a Browns spokesman said in a statement at halftime. "We feel it's important for our team to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country, including the freedom of personal expression.”

NFL players have continued the national anthem protests made prominent last season by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was with the San Francisco 49ers and knelt during the anthem's performance before games. 

This past week, Browns coach Hue Jackson defended his players’ rights to make a statement, provided it was peaceful and he had advance notice, ESPN reported.

Sports teams poke fun at eclipse through social media

Several sports teams had some fun with Monday's solar eclipse, taking to social media to put their own spin on the celestial rarity. The Atlanta Hawks gleefully blocked out the Suns, who were only too happy to block them back. And there was a total eclipse of the Hart in Philadelphia.

>> Read more trending news

Let’s start in Atlanta, where the Hawks’ Twitter account noted that “in honor of the sun being blocked today, here are our best blocks against the @Suns over the past few years!”

The Suns were not about to have the Hawks throw any shade on them, so they responded in kind: 

The Philadelphia Eagles had some fun with the 1983 Bonnie Tyler song, “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” using defensive tackle Tyler Hart as their focal point: 

Was that Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo protecting his eyes during the eclipse? Only the Spartans know for sure.

There was plenty of creativity to go around in the sports world. Now, players have until 2024 to think of something new.

Tennessee Titans players enjoy eclipse after practice

Members of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans were treated to a post-practice eclipse party Monday, and players laid on the field with pairs of glasses to view the celestial wonder, ESPN reported.

>> Read more trending news

Nashville was in the path of the solar eclipse that raced through the United States on Monday, and Titans players viewed it as Bruce Springsteen songs like “Blinded by the Light” and “Dancing in the Dark,” and Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night” blasted through the speakers.

“That was dope,” linebacker Javon Brown told ESPN. “I was trying so hard not to look at the sun. It was crazy. It felt like a cloud was over the sun the whole day. It was dark. It was a great experience though. That was timeless and priceless.”

“It was one of those moments where everybody can forget the problems that they have going on, come together and have fun,” cornerback Adoree Jackson told ESPN. “That's once-in-a-lifetime. It was special.”Nashville was the largest city in the solar eclipse's totality path,EPSN reported. The sun was completely blocked for just over two minutes. Darkness took over the sky and the temperature dropped.“It was like dawn almost, it was a little eerie with the weather,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said.

NYPD officers support Colin Kaepernick at rally

Police officers in New York City are throwing their badges behind polarizing figure Colin Kaepernick.

The former football star came under heavy criticism for kneeling during the national anthem last year and remains unsigned by any team.

On Saturday, a group of NYPD officers showed up at an event in support of Kaepernick.

Sgt. Edwin Raymond told the New York Daily News: “What Colin Kaepernick did is try to bring awareness that this nation, unfortunately, has ignored for far too long. ... And that’s the issue of racism in America and policing in America. We decided to gather here today because of the way he’s being railroaded for speaking the obvious truth.”

>> Read more trending news

Officers wore black shirts with #WeStandWithKap scrawled across their chests. Supporters of the quarterback insist that he’s been blackballed for his behavior.

One said, “The fact that Kaepernick is not in the NFL has nothing to do with stats on the football field.”

Even legendary NYPD officer Frank Serpico returned to his old stomping grounds to attend the rally and show his support for the former 49er. He said, “I am here to support anyone who has the courage to stand up against injustice and oppression anywhere in this country and the world.”

In related news, filmmaker Spike Lee made headlines two weeks ago when he tweeted that would be a rally for Kaepernick in New York City called “United We Stand,” taking place on Aug. 23.

Seahawks' Michael Bennett sits during anthem: 'It's about being a human being'

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett on Sunday said he sat Saturday as the national anthem played before his team’s preseason game against the Chargers in Los Angeles because he wanted to use his platform to stand against injustice.

>> Read more trending news

Bennett told reporters he sat to send a message about racial inequality and that the deadly clashes between protesters and counterprotesters Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, played a role in his decision.

“I just want to see people have the equality that they deserve, and I want to use this platform to continuously push the message of that,” he said. “It’s more about being a human being at this point.”

Bennett sat on the bench with a towel over his head Sunday while the rest of the Seahawks locked arms during the anthem — as they did all of last season — ESPN reported.

The Seahawks were in Los Angeles on Saturday, taking on the Chargers in both teams’ preseason opener.

>> Related: Trump condemns KKK, white supremacists days after deadly Charlottesville attack

Bennett’s former Seahawks teammate, current Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, did not stand on Saturday when the national anthem played before the Raiders took on the Arizona Cardinals.

After that game, Oakland coach Jack Del Rio told reporters that he had spoken to Lynch about not standing.

>> Related: Oakland Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch sits during national anthem

“He said, ‘This is something I’ve done for 11 years. It’s not a form of anything other than me being myself.’ I said, ‘So you understand how I feel. I very strongly believe in standing for the national anthem. But I’m going to respect you as a man. You do your thing; we’ll do ours.’ So, that’s a nonissue for me.”

>> Related: This is not my Charlottesville. Hate doesn't win in my hometown.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to draw attention for his failure to stand for the anthem, although the first time he did so, last preseason, it didn’t get much notice.

Later in the 2016 preseason, he told NFL Media that he was “not going to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

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

>> Related: Who is James Alex Fields Jr., suspect in deadly Charlottesville car attack?

Bennett refused to stand one day after protesters clashed in Charlottesville. Police said 20-year-old James Alex Fields, described by a former teacher as a fan of Adolf Hitler, slammed a car into two stopped vehicles and protesters opposing a white nationalist rally on Saturday. The attack killed one woman, identified by police as 32-year-old Heather Heyer, and injured 19 others.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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