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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.

Police release video of soccer star Alex Morgan's eviction from Disney's Epcot

On Oct. 1, one of the biggest stars of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team was out with friends at Epcot in Orlando, Florida, when the night took a major turn for the worse.

>> Watch the news report here

Alex Morgan, who also plays for the Orlando Pride, was out with Orlando City player Donny Toia and his wife, and after some sort of altercation, the trio was kicked out of the park and told not to come back, authorities said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office released body camera footage of the three as deputies issued them trespass warnings for “conduct not welcome on Walt Disney property.”

>> Watch the footage here

Deputies and park officials said Morgan and the Toias were being verbally aggressive, loud and belligerent toward park staff and other guests, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

>> On WFTV.com: Orlando Pride adds Alex Morgan to roster

In the video, the three can be heard arguing with the deputy and park employees and at one point, one of them, who was off camera, took exception with how a deputy described their behavior.

“Dude, you guys are lying right now,” the woman can be heard saying. “I can’t imagine what black people go through.”

As his son practiced at XL Soccer World in Orlando on Tuesday, Erlend Kleiven said he was disappointed in what he saw in the body camera video.

“Obviously, as a role model from the national team, for young kids to look up to her, wear her jersey, obviously that’s not something that is good for the sport,” he said.

>> Read more trending news 

While soccer dad Jason Gilmore agreed that what he saw in the video was not a good example for aspiring players, he argued that Morgan might be getting more flak than was warranted.

“It isn’t great role model stuff, but on the other hand, I mean, we kind of forgive this stuff, and worse, from male athletes,” he said.

After spending about 15 minutes in a conference room at Epcot, the three were escorted from the park, but not before Morgan assured her friends that the trespass warning wouldn’t stick.

“That’s fine,” she said after hanging up her phone. “It’ll be rescinded tomorrow. It’ll be rescinded tomorrow.”

The Walt Disney Co. warned that if Morgan or the Toias ever entered its property again – which includes all theme parks, water parks and resorts – they could face arrest.

None were charged criminally in connection with the incident.

Morgan apologized for the incident on Twitter.

>> Read the apology here

Florida man sets himself on fire after Cowboys lose to Packers, deputies say

An agreement to burn a losing team’s jersey went horribly wrong when a drunken Florida man tried to put the jersey on, deputies say.

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

A husband and wife were watching the Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers game inside their Vero Beach home when the husband’s team lost and he went outside to incinerate his jersey, according to the Sebastian Daily.

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: Woman shot dead after running over Florida cop

“He was set on fire after losing a bet on the Cowboys game. … Skin was hanging off his arm and back,” a witness told Sebastian Daily.

Family members quickly took off the jersey and took him to Indian River Medical Center with with second- and third-degree burns to his back, right arm and hand, the report said. 

>> Read more trending news

The 27-year-old man said he was drunk, deputies said.

Read more at Sebastian Daily

Miami Dolphins investigating video that allegedly shows offensive line coach snorting powder

The Miami Dolphins are aware of a video which appears to show offensive line coach Chris Foerster snorting a white powdered substance.

“We were just made aware of the video and will have no comment at this time,” the Miami Dolphins said in a statement.

>> Follow the Daily Dolphin on Facebook

The team is working to confirm when the video was recorded and its validity.

Foerster has been Miami’s offensive line coach in 2016 and 2017, returning to a franchise he worked for in 2004.

>> Former NFL player: Women are 'incapable' of knowing football

That season, Foerster held the role of offensive coordinator under Dave Wannstedt after Joel Collier resigned for health reasons.

The person in the video is addressing a camera and speaks of missing the person watching, and states that he is snorting the substance before heading to a meeting.

Foerster began his coaching career at Colorado State in 1982 before moving on to Stanford and Minnesota.

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

In 1993, Foerster began his NFL coaching career with the Vikings, moving on to Tampa, Indianapolis, Miami, Baltimore, San Francisco, Washington, San Francisco (again) and Miami (again), under coach Adam Gase.

After a 1-4 start last season, Miami’s play has improved in large part due to improvement by the offensive line.

During the final 11 games of the 2016 regular season, Miami ranked third in the NFL with 132.9 rushing yards per game and tied for third with just 13 sacks allowed.

>> Read more trending news

Foerster has mentored six players who were selected to 15 Pro Bowls – center Jeff Christy (2000), center Tony Mayberry (1996-99), guard Randall McDaniel (1993, 1995, 2000), tackle Jonathan Ogden (2005-07), tackle Joe Staley (2015) and tackle Trent Williams (2012-14).

With Miami, Foerster has worked with offensive linemen such as Branden Albert, Laremy Tunsil, Mike Pouncey and Ja’Wuan James, all former first-round draft choices.

O.J. Simpson out on parole after 9 years in prison

O.J. Simpson is out on parole after serving nine years in prison for an armed robbery in Las Vegas, The Associated Press reports.

>> Read more trending news

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'SNL' premiere: Baldwin's Trump slams San Juan mayor, NFL protesters

"Saturday Night Live" is back – and the iconic comedy show doesn't appear to be giving President Donald Trump a free pass anytime soon.

The season 43 premiere kicked off with a fresh skewering of the president, starting with his response to the devastation in Puerto Rico and ensuing feud with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

>> Watch the sketch here

In the cold open, Melissa Villaseñor, playing Cruz, called Alec Baldwin's Trump, pleading for federal assistance. He promised to send aid by "Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest."

"Mr. President, that's not good enough," Villaseñor-as-Cruz replied.

"Well, you should've paid your bills," Baldwin's Trump fired back. "FEMA takes a few days unless you join FEMA Prime."

Baldwin-as-Trump said he wants to help Puerto Rico, "but we have to take care of America first."

"Wait, you do know we're a U.S. territory, don't you?" Villaseñor's Cruz asked.

Baldwin's Trump, mouth agape, hesitated before stammering, "I mean, I do, but not many know that, no."

He later hung up on her, saying, "Wow, that woman was so nasty." 

>> Watch a clip here

The sketch then tackled Trump's recent response to NFL players' national anthem protests.

"I'm a little embarrassed that I said it's a black-and-white issue," said Aidy Bryant, playing Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. "I should've said it's a black-versus-white issue."

>> Read more trending news

"It's disgraceful," Baldwin's Trump responded. "You know, I actually love football. I could've played. People say I remind them of an NFL player because I'm combative, I like to win and I might have a degenerative brain disease."

>> See the clip here

The cold open also took aim at Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Kate McKinnon), who popped up in the Oval Office and hopped into the president's lap to get back on his good side.

"I might look adorable, but I'm frightening," McKinnon's Sessions said.

>> See the GIF here

Much to McKinnon-as-Sessions' dismay, Trump cut their chat short for dinner with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (Alex Moffat).

"Sir, are you really leaving with him?" McKinnon's Sessions asked.

"I told you, I'm nothing if not loyal," Baldwin's Trump replied. "Come over here, Chuck. We're both New Yorkers, we both enjoy a good slice, we never go to Times Square and we love saying ..."

McKinnon and Moffat joined Baldwin to finish the sentence: "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!"

Deshaun Watson gives first NFL paycheck to stadium workers affected by Hurricane Harvey

Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson donated his first NFL game check Wednesday afternoon to three team employees who lost everything during Hurricane Harvey.

>> Watch the video here

The three employees Watson helped work in the team cafeteria at NRG Stadium. With a base salary of $465,000 in 2017, the former Clemson star and 2017 first-round pick is set to earn $29,062.50 per game. Because of Watson’s generosity, each of the women received close to $10,000.

>> How to help Hurricane Maria victims: Where to donate, how to volunteer and more

“For what y’all do for us every day, and never complain. I really appreciate y’all,” Watson told the employees, according to HoustonTexans.com. “I wanted to give my first game check to y’all to help y’all out in some type of way. Hopefully that helps you out and helps you get back on your feet. Anything else y’all need, I’m always here to help.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

For those who have followed Watson’s football career, this act of kindness should come as no surprise.

>> Read more trending news

Watson has settled in nicely as Houston’s starting quarterback. He had an impressive performance in his second career NFL start against the New England Patriots in Week 3, and his play will likely be the deciding factor in whether the Texans return to the postseason in 2017.

Firefighter relieved of duty after saying NFL anthem protesters should be 'shot in the head'

A former Earle, Arkansas, firefighter was relieved of his duties after commenting on NFL players kneeling for the national anthem.

>> Watch the news report here

In a Facebook post, Jonathan Marotti wrote:

"U want my honest opinion about these worthless piece of c**p professional football basketball and baseball wannabe players i think trump should post snipers at every game and each player that takes a knee or sits in the lockeroom should b shot in the head i have no sympathy for them and no respect and as for the rest of u obama lovin snowflakes out here protesting and makin idiots out of urselves u should b shot on sight to if u disagree with me then dont let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya."

>> Pennsylvania fire chief out of a job after racial slur directed at Steelers' Tomlin

The post has since been removed or made private.

The Earle Fire Department relieved Marotti of his duties indefinitely for the inappropriate comments.

Mayor Sherman Smith said the post is not representative of the city of Earle.

>> Live updates: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react

“I hope the people don't connect that with the attitude or tone of the city of Earle because it certainly does not display it in any way,” Smith said.

When asked whether the city has a current social media policy, he said, "No," adding he will now look to initiate one.

>> PHOTOS: NFL takes a stand on football Sunday

“Especially with it being the thing of the day and people really relying on that to a large degree, I think it would be a good move to go ahead and adopt one,” Smith said.

While Marotti apologizes to those who he offended, those who live in Earle agree with the right to free speech but in this case disagree with how it was carried out.

>> Read more trending news

“There's enough stuff going on out here already,” said resident William Davis. 

Marotti issued the following public apology Tuesday: 

"This is jonathan marotti id like to take this time to apologize to everyone i offended with my facebook post it was wrong and childish and i made a mistake that i cant erase id like to apologize to my family and my friends and most of all to the earle fd and the city of earle and to fire fighters all over this great land im truely embarrassed about this and i hope u all can forgive me."

Pennsylvania fire chief out of a job after racial slur directed at Steelers' Tomlin

The Cecil Township Board of Supervisors in Pennsylvania has removed Paul Smith as fire chief of the Muse Volunteer Fire Company.

>> Watch the news report here

In a statement, the board said, "Effective immediately, Paul Smith is no longer the volunteer fire chief in Muse."

>> Live updates: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react

Firefighters who want to remain anonymous told WPXI that it's not been an easy day for them; they have been receiving threats at the other two fire stations in town, as well.

>> Photos: NFL takes a stand on football Sunday

Several Washington County firefighters contacted WPXI, saying they weren't comfortable with a comment made by the Cecil fire chief on Facebook during Sunday’s Steelers game.

>> Villanueva regrets being the lone Steelers player to stand for the national anthem

On Monday, WPXI reached out to Cecil Township's board of supervisors, who said they are deeply disturbed by the comment.

>> WWII veteran, 97, kneels in support of NFL's national anthem protests

"The Cecil Township Board of Supervisors is deeply disturbed by the comments made by volunteer Chief Smith, and in no way, shape or form condone his comments,” said the township manager.

>> On WPXI.com: Pittsburgh Steelers lineman, veteran Alejandro Villanueva's jersey listed as top seller

Smith was commenting on a post about the Steelers’ decision not to participate in the national anthem on the field and wrote, "Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good [N-words]. Yes I said it.”

>> Tom Brady calls Trump's comments on national anthem protests 'divisive'

Smith was captain of Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 2 in Muse. He is currently out of the country on vacation, but said he regrets the statement.

>> LeBron James again calls Trump a 'bum,' salutes NFL national anthem protests

"I am embarrassed at this," he told WPXI. "I want to apologize. I was frustrated and angry at the Steelers not standing for the anthem. ... This had nothing to do with my fire department. I regret what I said."

>> Cowboys, coach Jason Garrett, owner Jerry Jones take a knee before national anthem in Phoenix

Dylan Parseo, who is the son of the former police chief of Muse Fire Company No. 2, believes Smith crossed the line.

>> Read more trending news

"I'm completely upset. Especially for a town like this, coming from the fire chief. That's disrespectful in my eyes," Parseo said. 

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