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Trump says there's 'no leadership in NFL'

President Donald Trump on Monday lamented what he called a lack of leadership in the NFL days after the league’s commissioner said no plans are in place to force football players to stand during the national anthem.

>> Read more trending news

“Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag & Country,” Trump tweeted on Monday morning. “No leadership in NFL!”

NFL commissioner Roger Goddell said last week that he believes players “should” stand for the anthem, but that team owners and other officials are focused on understanding the issues that are prompting the protests. He said that players will not be penalized if they choose to kneel during the anthem.

"I think our clubs all see this the same way -- we want our players to stand, we're going to encourage them to stand and we're going to continue to work on these issues in the community," Goodell said Tuesday at a news conference following the Fall League Meeting in New York.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first started kneeling during the anthem last year, to protest police violence against minorities. The protest got mixed reactions, but other NFL players -- and players in other sports -- have since followed Kaepernick’s lead, to protest inequality.

>> Related: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants players to stand during national anthem, memo says

“They're talking about criminal justice reform,” Goddell said last week. “They're talking about changes that, I think, will make our communities better -- that there's bipartisan support for and that need focus. … They're talking about equality issues, making sure we're doing everything we possibly can to give people an opportunity, whether it's an education or economic and what we can do to try to effectuate that. And we believe, with the players, that we can help them, we can support them. And those are our issues, national issues, American issues that are all important."

Trump suggested last month that NFL team owners should fire players who refuse to stand during the anthem, telling a crowd in Alabama that “that’s a total disrespect for our heritage.”

Goddell said last week that players “are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag, but they also understand how it's being interpreted, and we're dealing with those underlying issues."

Homecoming queen kicks game-winning field goal

It was a great week for a Texas high school student. She was named homecoming queen last week, and on Friday she kicked five extra points and the game-winning field goal for her football team.

>> Read more trending news

Claire Jeffress was the clutch kicker for Dawson High School on Friday, converting a 30-yard field goal with 1:08 to play to snap a tie and give the Eagles a 38-35 victory against Pearland.

“Homecoming queen knocks it through, Dawson wins,” Dawson head coach Eric Wells told the Houston Chronicle. “You have to love that.”

Wells said Dawson “doesn’t get rattled” during games. 

“There wasn’t even a question that she was going to kick it,” he said.

Besides, it wasn’t even Jeffress’ first game-winning kick. She made a go-ahead extra point on Oct. 5 to give Dawson a 14-13 victory against George Ranch.

Jeffress has been playing football since she was a seventh-grader. She told TMC News in January that she felt she needed to prove herself to play on the boys squad.

“I didn't want to make the team because I was a girl -- I didn't want it to be some special factor," she told TMC News. “I wanted to make it because I deserved to be on the team. They understood that.”

On the night she was crowned homecoming queen -- her homecoming dress was adorned with a football -- Jeffress was 6-for-6 on extra points as Dawson defeated Brazoswood 51-16. 

So kicking a game-winner on Friday was not a pressure situation, she said.

“I just wanted to do what I've always done and not think of it as any big deal,” Jeffress told the Chronicle. “My team had faith in me, and they were going to block for me, and the snap and the hold were going to be good, so I just had to do my job.”

49ers icon Dwight Clark, battling ALS, asks fans for ‘prayers and thoughts’

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark, whose iconic reception in the 1981 NFC Championship Game will be forever known as “The Catch,” gave an emotional speech Sunday as his team honored him during halftime of Sunday’s game against Dallas.

>> Read more trending news

Clark, 60, is fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. “Dwight Clark Day” at Levi’s Stadium gave the former NFL star a chance to say thanks and reunite with his former teammates, the Mercury News reported.

“I think you all know I’m going through a little thing right now,” Clark told the crowd. “And I need your prayers and thoughts. I appreciate those that you’ve been giving me.”

Clark spoke from a private suite at Levi’s Stadium during halftime of the 49ers’ a 40-10 loss to Dallas, the team he beat for “The Catch.”

Clark is in a wheelchair because of the terminal neuromuscular condition that affects his ability to move, speak, eat and breathe, the Mercury News reported. Clark revealed in March that he was battling the fatal disease. The 49ers asked him what they could do, and Clark asked for a reunion with his teammates, “So I could see them one more time.” 

Thirty-seven members of that 1981 Super Bowl champion squad returned to pay tribute, along with former team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the Mercury News reported.

Clark is best known for his 6-yard grab with 58 seconds left against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 10, 1982. 

The 49ers would win five Super Bowls, but the catch and victory was the springboard for the team’s future successes.

“He’s very well known to all you 49ers fans and, oh, yeah, to you Cowboys fans, too,” said Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, who threw that game-winning pass. “Any time you turn on the NFL and you’re watching TV, you’ll see him flying high in the back of that end zone and making one of the most iconic catches in NFL history.”

Justin Timberlake will headline Super Bowl LII halftime show

Singer Justin Timberlake will be returning to the Super Bowl stage for the first time since he was part of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004, the NFL confirmed Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

Timberlake, who will be performing in his third Super Bowl halftime show, will be the featured artist during the intermission of the NFL’s showcase game on Feb. 4, 2018 in Minneapolis. He previously appeared at Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa in 2001, but it was his appearance with Jackson at Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004 that caused controversy.

Related: Justin Timberlake in talks to do 2018 Super Bowl halftime show, report says

An estimated 140 million people were watching the show when at the end, Timberlake popped off part of Jackson’s corset, exposing her breast. The incident, later described as a “wardrobe malfunction,” led to numerous complaints and a large fine by the Federal Communications Commission, The New York Times reported. The fine was eventually vacated by an appeals court, the Times reported. For Jackson, there was more fallout. Rolling Stone reported she was essentially blacklisted, which affected her music career.

During an interview televised during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcast, Mike Tirico asked Timberlake if the NFL had addressed the incident with him.

The singer smiled and said, “That won’t happen again.”

Timberlake, the 10-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, rose to fame with the boy band ’N Sync. He has since had solo hits such as “Sexy Back,” “Cry Me a River” and “Rock Your Body.”

Timberlake also had a hit with “Can’t Stop the Feeling” on the soundtrack for the animated movie, “Trolls.”

While Jackson remains banned from singing at the Super Bowl. Several people on Twitter were angered by the choice of Timberlake. 

“It had better damn well be a 15 minute apology to Janet Jackson for hanging her out to dry in 2004,” one person tweeted. 

Another tweeted that Timberlake was “still ensuring white privilege remains in style in 2017. Meanwhile, Janet Jackson is still left in the cold.”

“ My only request is that you don't perform any of the music inspired by her brother or any Black artist. You love our culture, but disrespect our people.”

Colin Kaepernick not invited to annual owners and NFLPA meeting

NFL owners and the NFL Players Association met in New York Tuesday for a regularly scheduled meeting with the topic of the national anthem protests in mind. Knowing this, many players were expecting one important free agent to be invited in Colin Kaepernick considering he was the person who got it all started. However, it was made clear that he was not invited, according to his attorney.

>> Read more trending news

That apparently didn’t sit well with players that were invited to the meetings.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman made his displeasure pretty clear, telling ESPN’s Brady Henderson, “You’ve heard every excuse in the book for why he doesn’t have a job, but you see what it is. They’ve agreed not to give him a job.”

Related: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants players to stand during national anthem, memo says

Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL alleging that there has been collusion in not signing him. A case can certainly be made that there’s a concerted effort to not sign Kaepernick to some team as there are several backups and even starting QBs in the league who are not better than him, but to prove actual collusion is going to be pretty tough.

Hillary Clinton defends NFL players kneeling for the national anthem

While on tour promoting her book “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton defended NFL players who kneel during the national anthem, arguing that they’re neither protesting the anthem nor the flag and calling their display “reverent.”

>> Read more trending news 

That’s what black athletes kneeling was all about,” she said in response to a question about how to resist the Trump White House. “That’s not against our anthem or our flag. Actually, kneeling is a reverent position. It was to demonstrate in a peaceful way against racism and injustice in our criminal system.”

Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick sought to protest racial injustice in the United States last season, beginning by sitting on the bench for the national anthem. After speaking with former NFL player and Green Beret Nate Boyer, he decided to simultaneously protest and show respect by kneeling for the song instead.

“We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammates,” Boyer said after their meeting. “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect. When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security.”

President Donald Trump recently began attacking players who kneel during the anthem, calling them “sons of (expletive)” and imploring team owners to fire players who participate in the protest.

National anthem protests: Jaguars apologize for 'not comprehending effect' of demonstration

The president of the Jacksonville Jaguars sent a letter this month to city officials, apologizing for the team’s kneeling during the national anthem during their Sept. 24 game in London. 

>> Read more trending news

The letter, dated Oct. 6, said the team was "remiss in not fully comprehending the effect of the national anthem demonstration on foreign soil has on the men and women who continue to serve our country." 

Written by Mark Lamping and addressed to Bill Spann, the director of military affairs for Jacksonville, the letter goes on to say, "Today, we can understand how the events in London could have been viewed or misinterpreted. We owe you an apology and hope you will accept it."

>> Read the letter the Jaguars sent to the city of Jacksonville

Before their game against the Baltimore Ravens last month, about a dozen Jaguars players kneeled during the national anthem. The move came days after President Donald Trump suggested that players who knelt during the national anthem should be cut from the team.

Some Jaguars fans were angered over the move, with one fan man destroying his Jaguars gear and another flying a plane above EverBank Field asking fans to boycott the Jaguars and the NFL. 

The Jaguars, 3-3 on the season, have a game at division rival Indianapolis on Sunday. Their next home game is Nov. 5 vs. Cincinnati.

Florida man hires pilot to fly 'Boycott Jags, NFL' banner over stadium amid anthem protests

A man from Green Cove Springs, Florida, took his issues with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL to the sky Sunday.

>> Watch the news report here

At 1,000 feet, you could read the statement on the plane-towed banner saying, “Be American. Boycott the Jags and the NFL.”

Terry Smiley had the message printed on a banner that was flown above EverBank Field before the Jacksonville Jaguars' game against the Los Angeles Rams. 

This all-American sport is dividing fans after some NFL players took a knee during the national anthem.

“I am asking people to boycott the football games. I don’t watch it on TV,” Smiley said. 

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Jaguars fan says he was asked to leave stadium for silent protest

People's feelings about politics and football seem to bleed together on the turf. 

“People need to realize the true message that they’re trying to send,” Jaguars fan Jay Crossman said. 

Smiley said he was disgusted by the Jags players who knelt in London. Now, he’s taking a stand, making his voice be heard. 

“Do you believe in your country? Do you believe in 'The Star-Spangled Banner'? If you don’t stand up for it now, you won’t have it in the future,” Smiley said. 

As a former Jags fan, he hired a pilot to fly his banner over the stadium for two hours to send his message about players kneeling. 

“I have the right to protest, and I’m going to protest it with bumper stickers, airplanes – whatever I go to do. I will continue to protest,” Smiley said.

>> Pence abruptly leaves Colts game after players take a knee during anthem

Some fans are on the offensive, saying players are kneeling for a greater cause – equality. 

“They are taking it in a peaceful manner. They are trying to use their words and use their actions instead of taking it to violence,” Jaguars fan Jaumari Day said. 

“They have publicly stated that they care about veterans and the flag and that’s not what they’re kneeling against,” Crossman said. 

Smiley is giving away bumper stickers in hopes his supporters will join him and boycott NFL football. 

>> Read more trending news

“We boycott them and we hit them in the pocketbook where it (hurts) them. (Before) long, we’ll have them on both of their knees,” Smiley said. 

“We have people who are legitimate concerns who happen to be NFL players. They still live in the community. They have a right to protest. That’s (Smiley's) right. Just like the NFL players who take their knee that’s their right. He has the right to do what he is doing,” Jaguars fan Calvin Sinclair said. 

Roger Goodell’s wife had fake Twitter account to support husband against social media opponents

No one really knows who owns social media accounts. Case in point: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the wife of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had set up a Twitter account to defend her husband against negative comments on the social media platform.

>> Read more trending news 

Jane Skinner Goodell had set up the account @forargument under the assumed name  of Jones smith and used it to defend the top man in the NFL online. The account has been deleted since it came to light after The Wall Street Journal’s investigation, ESPN reported.

Skinner Goodell, who is a former Fox News host, admitted to owning the account, telling The Wall Street Journal that, “It was a really silly thing to do and done out of frustration -- and love,” CBS Sports reported.

College football player cut from team after kneeling for national anthem

A Pennsylvania quarterback is off his college team after he knelt for the national anthem for the second game in a row.

>> Do students have to stand for the Pledge, anthem?

Gyree Durante, a sophomore, is a second-string quarterback at Albright College in Reading. He said his decision to kneel was a protest against racism and social injustices in the nation. Durante, who is a native of Norristown, told WCAU: “At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand. For me, it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.”

>> On Rare.us: A San Francisco 49ers player went after VP Mike Pence for leaving the football game

A spokeswoman for the college said the decision to stand during the anthem was agreed upon by the entire team. She says the team agreed to kneel during the coin toss and stand during the anthem. The spokeswoman explained that the decision to kneel was done “out of the mutual respect team members have for one another and the value they place on their differences.” Her statement went on to say that Durante’s decision to kneel showed that he “chose not to support team unity,” leading to his dismissal from the team.

>> Pence abruptly leaves Colts game after players take a knee during anthem

Durante’s teammates said they believe their colleague broke the trust of the team. One freshman said: "Time and time again he told us he would stand. … When you can’t have a player on a team that you can trust, he’s got to go.”

>> Read more trending news

Read more here.

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