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NASCAR owners threaten to fire those who protest during national anthem

It appeared no drivers, crew or other team members participated in a protest during the national anthem to start the NASCAR Cup series race Sunday.

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Several team owners and executives said they wouldn’t tolerate anyone in their organizations protesting. They could be fired if they had.

“It’ll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus,” Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt’s long time team owner, said of protesting. “Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.”

As the NFL, NBA and MLB have seen players, owners and teams protest and remark on social media in the wake of President Donald Trump's comments Friday and throughout the weekend about athletes who peacefully protest during the national anthem, several NASCAR owners weighed in.

Richard Petty was asked if drivers protesting during the anthem would be fired, and he said, “You’re right.”

“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States,” Petty said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

One Pittsburgh Steeler stood for national anthem

Initial reports were that the entire Pittsburgh Steelers football team would stay in the locker room during the national anthem for their game in Chicago after incendiary comments over the weekend from President Donald Trump regarding players who peacefully protest.

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While most of the team did sit out "The Star-Spangled Banner," one member of the Steelers was not in the locker room: left tackle Alejandro Villanueva.

Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, was deployed to Afghanistan three times during his military career. Villanueva reached the rank of major before starting his NFL career in 2014.

Other teams around the league also participated in protests whether it was kneeling, standing and locking arms, or staying in the locker room during the national anthem. 

Falcons, Lions link arms during national anthem; singer kneels after performing it

Before kickoff of the Lions and Falcons game, both teams stood linking arms on the sidelines to “celebrate (our) differences,” the announcer said before Rico LaVelle sang the national anthem. 

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Falcons owner Arthur Blank linked arms with Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman on the sidelines. Detroit Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford stood with her arms linked with the players. 

LaVelle, the Detroit-native singer, waited until the end of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” to kneel. 

Pittsburgh Penguins accept White House invitation

Some championship-winning teams have declined the invitation to visit the White House and meet President Donald Trump.

The Pittsburgh Penguins publicly announced Sunday that they will accept that invitation.

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The team will attend the White House ceremony this year after winning its second consecutive Stanley Cup. 

In the statement, the Penguins said they “respect the institution of the Office of the President, and the long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House.”

The team said it respects the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves, but there are other ways to protest.

“Any agreement or disagreement with a president's politics, policies or agenda can be expressed in other ways,” the statement said.

Trump rescinded an invitation to the Golden State Warriors, who won the NBA championship this year. The North Carolina Tar Heels who won the NCAA men’s basketball championship this spring declined an invitation, citing schedule conflicts.

The Penguins' full statement is available here

Woman arrested after baby’s decomposed remains discovered in bin

A 41-year-old South Carolina woman was arrested on murder charges after police said they found the decomposed remains of her baby in a container in her apartment.

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Laurens County Sheriff’s deputies discovered the baby’s body on Monday when they were trying to evict Jamie M. Wilson from her Fountain Inn, S.C., apartment, according to Greenville Online

The baby, estimated to be about 38 weeks old, had been decomposing inside a container, which was inside another container, for nearly a year, the county coroner said. 

Wilson told investigators that the baby died when it stopped breathing in October 2016. Rather than seek help, she wrapped a hoodie around the body and placed it inside a trash bag before placing it in the bins. 

On Friday, Wilson was charged with murder/homicide by child abuse.

Gunman dressed as clown kills 1, injures 7 in Nashville church shooting 

Authorities in Nashville, Tennessee are investigating a shooting at a church on Sunday that left one person dead and seven injured.

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It happened around 11:15 at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch.

A woman was shot and killed and six others injured in the rampage. Another person was pistol whipped by the shooter and taken to a local hospital.

Police captured the gunman, who was also among those injured. Police identified the shooter as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, who came to the United States from Sudan in 1996 and was a legal U.S. resident.

Church members said Samson has attended services in the past. No motive has yet been determined.

Most of those victims were older adults, investigators said.

All were taken to area hospitals.

At least one local news station reported the gunman was dressed as a clown. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tennessee Church Shooting

Tennessee Church Shooting

Live updates: Trump slams players, NFL responds by taking a knee 

Football players across the NFL fired back at President Donald Trump in Sunday’s season opening games, protesting his remarks criticizing the league and its players. Dozens of players knelt or locked arms to show their solidarity against the president’s “divisive” comments. The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t even show up for the anthem, preferring to remain in the locker room until the anthem was over.

The NFL Responds to Trump’s ‘Divisive’ Remarks

The NFL Responds to Trump’s ‘Divisive’ Remarks
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