NFL linebacker Mychal Kendricks charged with insider trading

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia say Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks used insider trading tips from an acquaintance to make about $1.2 million in illegal profits on four major trading deals.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain says co-defendant Damilare Sonoiki was paid $10,000 in kickbacks as well as perks like tickets to Philadelphia Eagles games. Kendricks played for the Eagles before signing with the Browns in June.

Prosecutors say Sonoiki was a trader at an unnamed firm. An IMBD profile lists him as a writer on the popular TV series “Black-ish” as well as other movies and TV shows.

Kendricks says in a statement released by his lawyer Wednesday that he’s sorry and “deeply” regrets his actions.

He says he “didn’t fully understand all of the details of the illegal trades.”

A message seeking comment from the federal defender representing Sonoiki wasn’t immediately returned.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the league is reviewing the situation.


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Patriots activate WR Julian Edelman to 53-man roster

The NFL's Full PED Policy

With the majority of the suspensions at the start of the 2018 season coming from PED’s, we thought it would be worth taking a moment to look a little deeper in the NFL’s substance abuse policy on banned substances. If you’re not in the mood for legal writing skip past this official statement of policy for our explanation.


The National Football League Management Council and NFL Players Association

(“NFLPA”) (collectively, the “Parties”) have jointly developed this Policy on

Performance-Enhancing Substances (the “Policy”) to prohibit and prevent the use of

anabolic/androgenic steroids (including exogenous testosterone), stimulants, human or

animal growth hormones, whether natural or synthetic and related or similar substances.

For convenience, these substances, as well as masking agents or diuretics used to hide their

presence, will be referred to as “Prohibited Substances.”1 These substances have no

legitimate place in professional football. This Policy specifically means that:


— Players may not, in the absence of a valid therapeutic use exemption, have Prohibited

Substances in their systems or supply or facilitate the distribution

of Prohibited Substances to other Players.

— Coaches, Athletic Trainers, Club Personnel, or Certified Contract Advisors may

not condone, encourage, supply, or otherwise facilitate in any way the use of Prohibited


— Team Physicians may not prescribe, supply, or otherwise facilitate a Player’s use of

Prohibited Substances.

— All Persons, including Players, are subject to discipline for violation of this Policy.

The Parties are concerned with the use of Prohibited Substances based on three primary



First, these substances threaten the fairness and integrity of the athletic competition on

the playing field. Players may use these substances for the purpose of becoming bigger,

stronger, and faster than they otherwise would be. As a result, their use threatens to

distort the results of games and League standings. Moreover, Players who do not wish

to use these substances may feel forced to do so in order to compete effectively with

those who do. This is obviously unfair to those Players and provides sufficient reason to

prohibit their use.

Second, the Parties are concerned with the adverse health effects of using Prohibited

Substances. Although research is continuing, steroid use has been linked to a number of

physiological, psychological, orthopedic, reproductive, and other serious health

problems, including heart disease, liver cancer, musculoskeletal growth defects, strokes,

and infertility.

Third, the use of Prohibited Substances by Players sends the wrong message to young

people who may be tempted to use them. NFL Players should not by their own conduct

suggest that such use is either acceptable or safe, whether in the context of sports or



The NFL Player Contract specifically prohibits the use of drugs in an effort to alter or

enhance performance. The NFL Player Contract and the League’s Constitution and Bylaws

require each Player to avoid conduct detrimental to the NFL and professional football or

to public confidence in the game or its Players. The use of Prohibited Substances violates

both these provisions. In addition, the Commissioner is authorized to protect the integrity

of and public confidence in the game. This authorization includes the authority to forbid

use of the substances prohibited by this Policy.


The Parties recognize that maintaining competitive balance among NFL clubs requires that

all NFL Players be subject to the same rules and procedures regarding drug testing. The

rules and procedures set forth herein are designed to protect the confidentiality of

information associated with this Policy and to ensure the accuracy of test results, and the

Parties intend that the Policy meets or exceeds all applicable laws and regulations related

thereto. The Parties also recognize the importance of transparency in the Policy’s

procedures, including the scientific methodologies that underlie the Policy, the appeals

process and the basis for discipline imposed, and reaffirm their commitment to deterrence,

discipline and a fair system of adjudication.

The NFL has deemed the use of “any” performance enhancing drug on their banned substance list punishable.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the NFL’s procedure for administering this policy.

NFL Players With Most Arrests Since 2000

As with all of our arrest posts, we have to mention that NFL players are arrested at a significantly lower rate than the national average. But because they are constantly in the news, it can feel like the NFL has issues with crime but the data does not support that assumption. That being said, some players have become notorious for more frequent run-ins with the law, here are four of those players:

No. Arrests  



Adam Jones


Kenny Britt


Aldon Smith


Chris Henry


Adam”Pacman” Jones has had ten arrests over the course of nine years. He is probably best known for an altercation in a Las Vegas Strip Club called Minx. While “making it rain” with rapper Nelly, Jones got in an argument with the manager. After Jones was evicted from the premises a gunman, who Jones claimed he didn’t know, came into the club and wounded three people, including the manager. The jury believed the connection to Jones was clear and the court ordered him to pay $10.5 million to the manager who was paralyzed from the waist down. He has three other police encounters due to assault and one other related to guns. He also has four other arrests/charges due to alcohol and/or drugs.


Within a two year period Kenny Britt had encounters with the police seven times, mostly behind the wheel. He had one DUI but was found not guilty, he drove with a revoked driver’s license, he falsified information on his driver’s license application, and pled guilty to charges of eluding the police and reckless driving.


Chris Henry had six arrests between the years of 2005 and 2008. His arrests were mostly due to drugs, alcohol, and assault. He was in the NFL from 2005-2009 but died at the end of the 2009 season when he fell from a moving truck driven by his fiancee during a domestic dispute. After he died, the autopsy revealed that Henry had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain injury that is caused by numerous head injuries. Studies have shown that CTE can cause impulsive actions, aggression and poor judgment.


Aldon Smith also had six arrests, but Smith’s arrests were almost entirely due to the consumption of alcohol and drugs. Half of the arrests were from DUIs and the other three were from incidents involving alcohol and/or drugs.


Again it is important to note that the NFL has an arrest rate significantly lower than the general population for men between the ages of 20 and 39. While these players were all arrested more than the average, the vast majority never has a run in with the law. Here are how arrest stats have been affected by year and month.


How to Choose Your Fantasy Football Site

The days of analog fantasy football are, for the most part, gone.

Sparing a rare case of longstanding tradition, season-long fantasy football players have plenty of options that make being an educated and invested season-long player much easier.

Season-long fantasy football attracts perhaps the widest range of participants. From longtime friends, to your office, to those who play in random leagues, fantasy football is by far the most popular fantasy sport in America.

FF requires minimal effort for those whose involvement is simply to set their lineups each week but the hardcore fans can spend hours pouring over the waiver wire or making roster decisions.

It’s a low-to-no risk, marginal reward vehicle that gives you enough of a rooting stake to where you may find yourself tuned into a Thursday night midseason game between two teams you couldn’t care less about.

Interested in season-long fantasy, but don’t know where to start?

I signed up for a wide range of season-long Fantasy Football sites and ranked the top five on user experience:


I chose a standard, head-to-head 10-team league. I joined a free league and was launched into a live draft within five minutes. There are also money leagues with as low as $20 entries. The draft board included a potpourri of Yahoo!’s different ranking systems, such as expert pre-season ranks, rankings based on league settings, average draft position and fan points.

You can also find player stats from last season and any potential injuries or other recent headlines that could affect whether they’re on the field, and playing at 100 percent. This is helpful for those who want to take the expert rankings and compare it to where users at large actually draft a player.

It’s nice to have different metrics splayed out in front of you during a live draft. You can take one with a grain of salt, disregard another, or just trust one the entire time. Or you could roll the dice and auto-draft, but where’s the fun in that?

Simply click on a ranking system, and the chart reorganizes accordingly on the draft board, and utilize them to make an educated pick. There’s also a smack talk corner, which feels like it should be a requirement in a league with friends or coworkers.



What sets ESPN apart is its content. My FF experience has almost exclusively existed on leagues. It’s where I first started with a group longtime friends and ESPN has done nothing to steer me away. The library of fantasy content produced is some of the best in the business. What separates ESPN is the game day experience through ESPN FantasyCast. It provides a wealth of resources, live scoring and an easy-to-use mobile app to keep up to date on the go throughout your Sundays. Follow along with its daily podcast “Fantasy Football Focus” with Matthew Berry, Field Yates and Stephanie Bell to stay tuned in throughout the week.



Video highlights is what sets the league’s fantasy site apart. With a wealth of content, highlights and information, the league’s exclusive site has resources that can only be found with their access. owns every game.

If you have the NFL Game Pass, which allows you to watch live out-of-market games, your football experience will be centralized on the homepage. Plus, its projections and predictions make your game watching experience much easier.



The TV network that has long been interlocked in a rights deal with the NFL also has a highly detailed fantasy football site. With a section on your personalized fantasy home page dedicated to draft prep, you can access player rankings, cheat sheets, ratings by position and a stockpile of resources like its CBS Sports HQ, which includes fantasy analysis and NFL reporting from the network’s FF writers/personalities. The most helpful tool for me was the “Roster Trends” list. It ranks the most added and most dropped players by percentage of change.



Another network with a wide range of FF content, Fox Sports provides users plenty of resources to enhance the season-long FF experience. If that’s important to you, Fox Sports is a site worth trying. But the fantasy interface doesn’t necessarily offer anything the others don’t.

Andy Buhler is a graduate of Gonzaga University and writes for The Columbian. He’s a lifelong fantasy football player.

Tackle this: NFL players benefit from regular yoga practice

NEW YORK (AP) — Without stretching, New York Giants offensive lineman Chad Wheeler folds his 6-foot-7, 317-pound frame over far enough to place his palms flat on the ground. His knees are straight but not fully locked, because that’s poor form, and he can comfortably hold himself there — he’s that flexible.

That’s nothing for Wheeler. Like many NFL players, he does yoga.

“It’s funny doing it as a team because a lot of guys haven’t done it,” Wheeler said. “It makes me feel proud in a way. Like guys that are way more athletic than me, I can bend better than them in certain positions.”

Football players don’t fit the mold of a yogi , someone who regularly practices yoga. They’re large athletes with sculpted muscles from countless hours of lifting and conditioning. Most do not look capable of the contortions required of the ancient discipline, such as standing on one foot with the other propped up on their knee in a tree pose for an extended period without falling over.

Yet in recent years, the presence of yoga has grown in the NFL. The fast-paced, hard-hitting sport has accepted the more calming practice that emphasizes conscious breathing and body flow. Much like yin and yang, the two complement each other both mentally and physically.

“Obviously (yoga) helps with flexibility, what we call join integrity, discipline, focus and balance,” said Los Angeles Chargers Director of Football/Medical Services James Collins, an NFL athletic trainer for 31 years. “It has a lot of different entities to it. And one thing about professional football players is that if you explain something to them and give them the science and reasoning behind it, you can get them to buy into it.”

Many teams haven’t adopted yoga, but their players practice it individually, including Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, Buffalo Bills placekicker Steven Hauschka and New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.

The Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears offer it to their players on recovery days. Others make it a team activity: the Chargers, Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys.

“I was going into it expecting to tell them all the reasons why they should be practicing yoga and why it’s so beneficial,” said Kaleen Lugo, the Chargers’ yoga instructor. “They’re just like, ‘You’re preaching to the choir, girl. We know.'”


Getting ready in his pass-rush stance, New York Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams has his legs spread, knees bent and feet staggered. He leans forward with a hand on the ground.

That’s how he stays until the ball is snapped, holding his 6-5, 302-pound body in the three-point stance.

“For my position, you can get knocked off,” Williams said. “When we’re playing double teams, we got to stunt and do stuff, so it’s like sometimes we have to be on one foot, plant and go somewhere. I feel like yoga helps with that, when we’re doing one-legged poses and stuff like that. It helps with my balance .”

Yoga helps with so much more than balance, and flexibility.

Collins, who’s also the Professional Football Athletic Trainers’ Society president, said yoga is great for multidirectional joints such as the elbows, wrists, ankles, hips and shoulders. Regular stretching is linear and doesn’t help strengthen those areas.

Yoga also keeps muscles pliable and allows them to recover faster.

“At minimum, doing it helps maintain what you have,” Collins said. “Especially as an athlete and a football player, as he’s going through a season and his bodies getting beat up, everything starts to shut down — ‘Boy, I feel stiff. I’m sore. I can’t do this.’ But if you’re doing things throughout the season, like yoga, to help maintain what you’ve established with your body, that helps you get through the season, helps reduce your chance of injury and things of that nature.”

Each player — position, really — is different, too.

Gwen Lawrence, founder of Power Yoga for Sport, has been teaching athlete-focused yoga for 25 years and taught the Giants for more than a decade under former head coach Tom Coughlin. While she would work on arm and spine strength — spinal rotation — for a quarterback, she would focus more on the neck, hips and wrists for a lineman.

It comes down to releasing tension and building strength in overworked parts of the body.

“I didn’t realize once I got the hold of it how much stronger I felt,” Giants linebacker Jordan Williams said. “I wasn’t doing anything but using my body weight, and I felt so much stronger.”


Bending to the side, Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah reaches for a block on the floor . He then lifts his other legs straight out so he is parallel to the ground and extends his free arm upward.

Each limb is stretched out straight, as he breathes through the difficulty of holding yoga’s half-moon pose.

That’s where the mind-over-matter mentality comes in.

“They need to be trained when they’re in a tough situation, they can’t just bail,” Lawrence said. “A lot of times they’ll be like, ‘Ah, this is too hard. This hurts,’ and they’ll jump out of that. You can’t do that in a game, and you can’t do that in yoga.”

Mental toughness is one of the six facets Lawrence teaches in her yoga class, along with strength, flexibility, balance, focus and breath. But she also has a six-week mindfulness course Coughlin had the medical staff and players go through. The well-being of the mind is just as important as the well-being of body.

“We spend a lot of time paying attention to the psychology of the athlete,” said National Athletic Trainers’ Association president Tory Lindley, who’s also the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Health, Safety and Performance and Director of Athletic Training Services at Northwestern University. “That mind-body connection is critical.”

On the field and off it.

In 2003, Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Keith Mitchell sustained a career-ending injury. It came after seven years in the NFL, mostly spent with the Saints. He was lost, saying he showed signed of depression and had suicidal thoughts, until he found yoga.

Mitchell credits meditation and conscious breathing for getting him through the tough time. Now, he’s a yoga instructor and hopes the practice grows in the NFL because he wishes he had done it as a player.

“The game, I always say, is 80 percent mental,” Mitchell said. “So anything we can do to reboot the mind — I call it a meditation and I teach it as a mind practice — that’s just going to make you even more impactful, more effective on your endeavors.”

Many players do it for the mental aspect alone, saying yoga gets their mind right and prevents overthinking. It forces them to be in the moment, otherwise there’s no way they’d be able to accomplish some of the poses, which make them feel better physically.

One thing leads to another, much like the flow of a good sun salutation — moving from one pose to another.

“When you feel good, you play good,” Lugo said. “When you play good, it’s all good. They know that comes from so much more than just keeping your body in peak shape and condition.”

Column: Is there a path forward in NFL protests?

The players kneel. The president tweets.

And the great divide over protests during the national anthem at NFL games grows even wider.

So far the players — at least a handful of them — aren’t backing down. A few took a knee in the first weekend of exhibition games, at least two raised a fist during the anthem, and several stayed in the locker room as their way of making a statement.

The NFL reacted by doing nothing, at least publicly. The league’s hastily adopted new policy on protests during the anthem is on hold while it holds talks with the players’ union on an issue that figures to grow more contentious with every game.

That didn’t stop President Donald Trump from weighing in on Twitter, calling for any player who doesn’t stand during the national anthem to be suspended without pay.

For Trump, it’s an issue that resonates with his base. For the protesting players, it’s an issue of social injustice that needs to be raised.

The divide is not only splitting the country, but splintering the NFL.

“I think there are a lot of people that are supportive of the players and then there are a couple of people that have been very vocal against it,” said Duane Brown, one of three Seahawks who protested. “Those people have power. We’ll see what happens.”

What has happened so far is that the protests that began with Colin Kaepernick taking a knee before a 49ers game two seasons ago show no signs of disappearing entirely. If anything, the first preseason games show that while most teams fell in line with the desires of their management, there are some players who aren’t going to back down.

And that could cause major problems not only for protesting players but a league trying to keep its dominant place in American sports.

“The NFL is caught, they can’t really win either way,” said Eric Schiffer, the CEO of Reputation Management Consultants, a Los Angeles-based brand and crisis management firm. “They’ve now come to the conclusion they were alienating conservatives and attempted to mitigate it. But they have only so much they are able to do without alienating the core of their product, which is the players.”

The fact the protests have been turned into something they were never intended to be is a big reason why a resolution will be so difficult. Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem to protest social injustice against minorities, but Trump and others have portrayed it instead as a protest against the anthem itself and the country it stands for.

Still, an NFL spokesman said the league and the players’ union are involved in “constructive” talks to resolve the issue. But they’re in a battle with time, with the start of the regular season just a few weeks away.

They might want to start with one of the few good suggestions offered publicly so far. It came from Kenny Stills, the Miami wide receiver who took a knee during the national anthem in the Dolphins first preseason game.

Give Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid jobs, Stills said, and let players know you’re serious.

“You can’t say as a league you support the players and their protests and then blackball the players who initially started the protests,” Stills said. “To come to the drawing board and talk about solutions, we need to start there as a league, and then we can start drawing up other solutions to some of these other problems.”

Employing Kaepernick and Reid shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Both are NFL players at the highest level, and both seem to have been blackballed from the league — at least unofficially — because of their protests.

Offer them up to every team in the league. Waive any salary cap to do it, and there should be some takers.

If no team bites, assign them through a lottery.

After that, it gets easier. Offer players something in exchange for not protesting during the anthem — perhaps a 30-second commercial spot to highlight social injustice at halftime of every nationally televised game.

The guess is players would respond favorably, partly because they have little alternative. By now they surely understand that their original cause has been hijacked and that they — along with the NFL — are in no-win situations.

Their points can still be made, and perhaps find a more receptive audience.

And, just maybe, the tweets will stop.


Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at or

Seahawks-Raiders at Wembley as Tottenham stadium isn't ready

LONDON (AP) — The new stadium being built for English Premier League club Tottenham isn’t ready to host the NFL this year.

The first NFL game at Tottenham was due to feature the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders on Oct. 14. That will now be played across north London at Wembley Stadium on the same day.

English soccer’s national stadium will also stage the Oct. 21 game between the Tennessee Titans and the Los Angeles Chargers, and the meeting between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars a week later.

Tottenham’s 62,000-capacity venue is being built on the site of the now-demolished White Hart Lane stadium. Tottenham has been forced to continue playing home games at Wembley after its new home wasn’t ready for this month’s season start.


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What is the Worst Trade Your Team Ever Made?

The history of the NFL is littered with poor deals that sent future stars packing for modest returns. Every team has it’s own horror story of sending a player away only for them to become a star on another franchise. We took to Twitter to ask our followers what was the most bone-headed decision their GM or coach made that they can remember. Here are some of the best responses:

Moss was undoubtedly a star for Minnesota but character concerns saw him traded to Oakland in 2005. In return the Vikings received Harris a linebacker who played two seasons in Minnesota with only 60 total tackles. The 7th pick of the draft was used on Troy Williamson, a WR who was expected to fill the void left by Moss. Here’s how that went:


Alphonso Smith was a heralded corner from Wake Forest who was falling on draft day. The Broncos stopped the fall by trading next year’s first to Seattle to pick Smith at 37. The CB played exactly one season for Denver recording just nine tackles and no interceptions despite starting 14 games. Seattle selected Earl Thomas with the Denver pick who went on to become a core member of the Legion of Boom and one of the best safeties in the league. 

Going the other way, this is the worst trade a team didn’t make. It’s ludicrous to think of a coach/GM giving up all of the teams picks for one player but that is exactly what Ditka did. The Bengals declined, opting for Oregon QB Akili Smith instead. Ditka found another suitor in Washington at pick #5 and, after the Saints struggled that year, he lost his job. If someone were to offer that trade now, every single team would take it without hesitation, no matter the pick or who is on the board.

Check out the rest of the responses and chime in with your favorite team. There are enough options to do another follow up post so put a comment down and we might feature your tweet next time. 

NFL players emphasize reasons for anthem demonstrations

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — While the NFL continues discussions with the players’ union regarding a national anthem policy, players who demonstrate are emphasizing they are protesting social injustice, racial inequality and systematic oppression.

They are not against the country, military, flag or “The Star-Spangled Banner” itself.

President Donald Trump wants players to “find another way to protest” and contended “most of them are unable to define” what they’re demonstrating against.

Players, however, have made clear their position numerous times.

“I think part of the problem is that when you continue the rhetoric that this is controversial or this is somehow a negative thing, people treat it as such,” Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said after resuming his demonstration before Thursday night’s game. “But we’ve seen in other leagues when they’ve decided to amplify the voices of their players to also emphasize the importance of the issues that we’re raising, and change the narrative away from the anthem, that not only is it more acceptable, the fan base gets educated on what we’re talking about, and we can actually make some movement.”

Jenkins stopped his demonstration last season after the NFL committed $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a three-segment plan that involves league players.

Jenkins and a few teammates wore a T-shirt before the game that read on the front: “More than 60 percent of prison populations are people of color.” On the back, it said: “Nearly 5,000 kids are in adult prisons and jails. #SchoolsNotPrisons.”

The league and the NFLPA have yet to announce a policy for this season regarding demonstrations during the anthem after the league initially ordered everyone to stand on the sideline when the anthem is played, or remain in the locker room.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy declined comment Friday and reiterated his statement Thursday night, saying “constructive” discussions are ongoing with the union.

“I understand that it’s a business and you want to protect your bottom line and all of that, but at the end of the day, I think the smartest thing right now is to not have a rule and provide a better option,” Jenkins said.

Teammate Chris Long showed his support for Jenkins, as he did last season, by putting his arm around him.

“Malcolm is taking action and he can always sleep good at night knowing that he’s not being a fraud,” Long said. “He’s (demonstrating) and he’s working in the community, like a lot of these guys are doing.”

In Miami, Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled behind teammates lined up standing along the sideline. Defensive end Robert Quinn stood and raised his right fist.

“If you continue to misinterpret what we’re doing, reach out to me, take a look at my website, take a look at my Twitter, all my social media platforms,” Stills said. “I think you’ll get a better idea of why we’re doing what we’re doing and maybe you can come to the other side and start supporting us.”

Stills said “it would take a lot” for him to stop protesting.

“A good first step for us as a league would be acknowledging what they’re doing to Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid,” Stills said. “You can’t say as a league you support the players and their protests and then blackball the players who initially started the protests. To come to the drawing board and talk about solutions, we need to start there as a league, and then we can start drawing up other solutions to some of these other problems.”

Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, began the movement in 2016 and was joined by teammate Eric Reid. Both are unemployed — Kaepernick didn’t play last season, either — and have pending collusion grievances against the NFL.

Kaepernick tweeted support for Stills and Wilson.

Wilson said he feels more free to express himself with the Dolphins than he did with the Kansas City Chiefs, but didn’t elaborate.

“You get a lot of backlash for doing this,” Wilson said. “Nobody wants to bring the negative attention to themselves, but when you have a platform like this and you’re able to speak on certain situations, you want to do that. We’re not harming anybody.”

Writing on Twitter from his New Jersey golf resort, Trump said Friday players “make a fortune doing what they love,” and those who refuse to stand “proudly” for the anthem should be suspended without pay.

Quinn had a powerful message for critics.

“It’s not a protest. It’s an awareness,” he said. “I think ‘protest’ segregates this country. The awareness we’re trying to raise — this country preaches freedom and unity. That’s all I’m trying to do. If you believe in something, no matter the consequences you stand by it. I want heaven here on Earth. I believe we preach too much negativity throughout this whole world. I think the message that needs to be spread is peace, love and happiness.

“Hearing the slander that we’re protesting the flag, that’s not it. It’s not a protest. It’s no disrespect to any servicemen or women out there. They salute with their hand over their heart, I hold my fist up. How can you look at that any different? That salute is just as meaningful to them as my fist in the air.”

Three Seahawks players, Branden Jackson, Quinton Jefferson and Duane Brown, left the field following team introductions and before the start of the anthem Thursday night.

“I think there are a lot of people that are supportive of the players and then there are a couple of people that have been very vocal against it. Those people have power,” Brown said. “We’ll see what happens.”


AP Sports Writers Steven Wine and Tim Booth contributed to this report.


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Trump says protesting NFL players should 'be cool!'

BRIDGEWATER, New Jersey (AP) — President Donald Trump is once again lashing out at football players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.

Trump claimed on Twitter Friday that “most of them are unable to define” what they’re demonstrating against.

Instead, Trump tweets players should “Be happy, be cool!”

Numerous player demonstrations took place during the national anthem at several early NFL preseason games Thursday night. Players have been protesting police killings of black men, social injustice and racism.

Trump writes from his New Jersey golf resort that players “make a fortune doing what they love” and that those who refuse to stand “proudly” for the anthem should be suspended without pay.

Trump has told associates that he believes the anthem issue is a winning one that riles up his base.