Buccaneers white house visit Football Intelwars Jen psaki Sports Super bowl 55 Tampa bay buccaneers WHITE HOUSE

White House: Tampa Bay Buccaneers are invited to visit when it’s ‘COVID safe’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be invited to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory eventually, at some point in the future, when, hopefully, maybe, the White House will be “COVID-19 safe,” but no one really knows when that will be.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said as much Monday when she announced that the champions of Super Bowl LV will be invited to the White House, as well as the 2020 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

“Very exciting, the outcome of the Super Bowl, I guess, if you’re a fan of the Buccaneers,” Psaki told reporters at the daily WH press briefing.

“But we will be inviting – I don’t have an update if it’s happened yet – but I do have an update that we look forward to inviting the Buccaneers, as well as the 2020 NBA champions, the Lakers, to the White House when it is COVID safe, but I don’t know when that will take place yet.”

Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady led the Buccaneers to a resounding victory over the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, defeating them 31-9 and earning his seventh Super Bowl ring. The Buccaneers also made NFL history as the first-ever team to host and win a Super Bowl in their own city.

It’s unclear what Psaki meant by the White House being “COVID safe.” If she was referring to enforcing proper social distancing protocols, then it will be up to the White House staff to determine what’s appropriate for mask-wearing, sanitization, and other virus safety measures.

If by “COVID safe,” however, Psaki meant when things begin to return to normal, when for example the government determines there is no need to wear masks, that could be much longer.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director and top White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday said that if an estimated 70%-85% of the American people are vaccinated against the virus to “a degree of herd immunity,” then it might be time for the government to roll back coronavirus health restrictions.

Asked for a time frame on when that might happen by Fox News anchor Bret Baier, Fauci guessed that “if everything falls into the right place and we get this under control, it is conceivable that you might be able to pull back a bit on some of the public health measures as we get into the late fall of this year.”

“But there’s no guarantee of that,” Fauci added.

Football Intelwars New York Times Pat gray

New York Times says college football champs did not play in the title game

In a recent article published by the New York Times, Americans were informed that the college football champion of 2020 would not be playing in the title game.

Ahead of the national championship game, the NYT wrote, “Who will be college football’s next national champion, Alabama or Ohio State? The correct answer should be neither.”

According to the NYT, “The team we should be cheering won’t be on the field at Hard Rock Stadium near Miami next Monday.”

On “Pat Gray Unleashed,” Pat Gray read an excerpt from the NYT article that stated, “The University of Connecticut, which was the first Football Bowl Subdivision team to squarely face the coronavirus and decide against playing a single snap during a raging pandemic.

“Given the pain and tumult of the last year, it can be hard to remember there was a time when the powers that rule major college sports were more concerned about the virus than about fattening their bank accounts.”

“That is unbelievable,” Pat said. “Football players who are there to showcase their abilities on the field lost an entire season.”

Watch the clip for more from the show. Can’t watch? Download the podcast here.

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Alabama COVID-19 Football Intelwars Nick saban SEC

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has tested positive for the coronavirus and is currently isolating at home, the school announced Wednesday.

Saban’s self-quarantine is expected to last several days, leaving questions over who will coach the No. 2-ranked Southeastern Conference team in its scheduled game Saturday against No. 3 University of Georgia — if the matchup is not postponed along with other conference bouts originally slated for the weekend.

What are the details?

“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Saban said in a statement. “I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis.”

The coach added that “offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations at the complex while I work from home.”

According to, “Saban has been careful with mask usage in public since the season began. While some SEC coaches have been lax with the face coverings during games, Saban’s consistently been masked up during Alabama’s first three games of the season.”

Alabama team doctor Jimmy Robinson confirmed that the university’s athletic director, Greg Byrne, also tested positive.

ESPN noted:

Alabama team physicians Jimmy Robinson and Jeff Allen said Saban and Byrne were the only two individuals who tested positive “at this point in time,” and that the school would follow the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives.

CDC guidelines say those with positive tests must isolate for 10 days, while contact tracing requires a 14-day quarantine.

While the Alabama-Georgia game’s status is up in the air, a number of SEC games slated for the weekend have already been postponed due to coronavirus outbreaks. The conference announced earlier on Wednesday that Saturday’s game between No. 10 University of Florida and Louisiana State University has been postponed.

Earlier in the week, the SEC announced that the Oct. 17 game between Vanderbilt University and the University of Missouri would be tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 12 “due to positive tests & subsequent quarantine of individuals within the Vanderbilt FB program,” saying “the action is consistent with SEC COVID-19 management requirements.”

Crime Football Intelwars Joe montana KIDNAPPING NFL

Joe Montana and wife thwart kidnapping of 9-month-old grandchild from their home

A home invader attempted to kidnap the grandchild of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana on Saturday, according to authorities. Montana and his wife were able to stop the home intruder from abducting their 9-month-old grandkid.

The suspect, who police identified as Sodsai Dalzell, allegedly illegally entered Montana’s Malibu house through an unlocked door around 5 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The woman reportedly removed the sleeping infant from a playpen that was located in the living room.

Montana and his wife Jennifer confronted the woman, who was holding the child in her arms, when she attempted to go upstairs with the infant. The couple attempted to “de-escalate the situation” and demanded Dalzell give back the child. After a brief struggle, Jennifer Montana was able to wrestle the child from Dalzell.

“Mr. Montana, and his wife Jennifer, confronted the female, attempted to de-escalate the situation, and asked for the suspect to give back their grandchild,” a statement from the LASD said. “A tussle ensued and Mrs. Montana was able to safely pry the child out of the suspects arms.”

Dalzell fled the home but was quickly arrested nearby because Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies were reportedly on the same block for an unrelated matter. Montana flagged down the deputies, and they arrested Dalzell.

“The suspect fled to a nearby house, where she was located and arrested by Malibu/Lost Hills Deputies,” police said.

The woman was reportedly charged with kidnapping and burglary charges.

The Montanas, the home intruder, and the 9-month-old child were unharmed, according to the LASD.

Montana, the former NFL star QB for the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs retired after the 1994 season after winning four Super Bowls, thanked everyone for their support.

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out,” Montana tweeted. “Scary situation, but thankful that everybody is doing well. We appreciate respect for our privacy at this time.”

Football Helmet names Intelwars Maurkice pouncey NFL Nfl helmets Pittsburgh steelers social justice

Pittsburgh Steelers co-captain goes against NFL, will decide who he honors on his helmet

Pittsburgh Steelers center and co-captain Maurkice Pouncey announced that he would decide whose name is on the back of his helmet, not who the Steelers or the NFL tell him to honor. Pouncey is going against the league, which is honoring a victim of a police shooting, who was also reportedly involved in a drive-by shooting.

On Monday, the Steelers announced that every player would wear a helmet decal honoring Antwon Rose Jr.

“This year the NFL is allowing players to wear helmet decals to honor victims of systemic racism,” the Steelers website stated. “Players could select the name of an individual to wear on their helmet and the Steelers players and coaches united as one to wear a single name on the back of their helmets and hats for the entire 2020 season – Antwon Rose Jr.”

“On the night of June 19, 2018, the car Antwon Rose Jr., who is black, was a passenger in was pulled over by the East Pittsburgh Police,” the website reads. “While the driver was being handcuffed on suspicion of being involved in an incident that happened earlier that evening, a frightened Rose fled from the car. The cell phone video a bystander captured showed Rose running, and then you could hear gunshots and see as he was fatally shot in the back three times by a white East Pittsburgh Police Officer.”

The Steelers played the New York Giants on Monday night. The Pittsburgh players, including Pouncey, had the name “Antwon Rose Jr.” on the back of their helmets. On Thursday, Pouncey announced that he regretted wearing the tribute and would not wear Antwon Rose’s name on the back of his helmet for the rest of the season.

“I was given limited information on the situation regarding Antwon, and I was unaware of the whole story surrounding his death and what transpired during the trial following the tragedy,” said Pouncey, who was named the Steelers’ 2019 nominee as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award for “exceptional character and work off the football field.” “I should have done more research to fully understand what occurred in its entirety.”

“My work with the police, both in Pittsburgh and back home in Florida, is well documented,” the Pittsburgh lineman said. “I don’t always feel the need to highlight what I do with the police departments, but I also want to make sure they understand I inadvertently supported a cause of which I did not fully comprehend the entire background of the case. I take responsibility for not doing more investigating into something that is sensitive to the community and his family, but it is a lesson learned as it relates to political issues that occur every day in our society.

“Moving forward, I will make my own decision about what to wear on the back of my helmet,” Pouncey continued. “Make no mistake, I am against racism and I believe the best thing I can do is to continue helping repair relationships between the police and their communities. Systemic racism issues have occurred in our country for too long, and that needs to stop.”

“My focus will continue to be on helping the police in our communities, and I will support making any necessary changes to help those efforts,” the statement concluded.

The “whole story” that Pouncey is alluding to is that the Steelers did not mention that Rose was reportedly in a vehicle matching the description of a car that had been involved in a drive-by shooting that happened about 10 minutes before Rose was shot. Rose’s friend, Zaijuan Hester, allegedly fired a gun from the rear passenger side of a gold Chevy Cruz, shooting Thomas Cole Jr. in the abdomen, and hitting William Ross in the leg with shrapnel, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Officer Michael Rosfeld pulled over the vehicle on suspicion of carrying out the drive-by shooting. A witness video of the incident shows Hester and Rose run away from the officer. Rosfeld fired three shots, all of them hit Rose; striking him in the face, elbow, and the back, according to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr.

Rose was unarmed at the time of the shooting, according to police. Daniel Wolfe, a scientist with the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office, said gunshot residue was found on Rose’s hand. But it could have come from Rosfeld’s weapon.

There were two guns on the floor of the car. There was a 9 mm Glock 26 handgun with 16 rounds in the magazine that holds 17 rounds. The other gun was a .40-caliber Glock 22 with a live round in the chamber and an extended magazine with 18 rounds.

Rose had an empty 9 mm ammunition magazine in his pocket, which matched the 9 mm pistol in the car. Shell casings found at the scene of the drive-by shooting matched the .40-caliber Glock 22 pistol, according to police.

Hester, who was 17 at the time of the crime, pleaded guilty on March 15, 2019, to charges related to the drive-by shooting, including three counts of aggravated assault and four firearms charges. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped a charge of attempted homicide. Hester was sentenced to 6 to 22 years in prison.

Rosfeld testified that he thought one of the teens had turned and pointed a gun at him. On March 22, Rosfeld was acquitted by a jury and found not guilty of homicide charges in the death of Antwon Rose.

For the past three seasons, Pouncey donated Steelers tickets to the Pittsburgh police so they could take young people from city neighborhoods to football games and enjoy a pregame tailgate party. Pouncey hopes the experience can build trust between young people and police officers.

“I think sometimes the message gets blurred some with some of the incidents,” Pouncey said. “The things we do in the community, and how Pittsburgh is, how involved they are in bringing up the youth and making sure everyone knows they do a lot of great things. To bring up the kids that way is awesome.”

“This gives the kids a chance to see the police beyond the uniform,” Pouncey added. “They are human. They are great people. They have kids and family members too. Just because they wear a badge you shouldn’t look at them a certain way. They are a lot of great people that help with a lot of great causes.”

Pouncey wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to object to honoring Antwon Rose Jr. on their helmet. Fellow Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva paid tribute to Alwyn Cashe, a U.S. Army sergeant who died while serving in Iraq in 2005.

Cashe was in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle that hit an improvised explosive device during a patrol in Samarra, Iraq. He exited the vehicle with minor injuries, but when he saw there were injured soldiers in the burning vehicle, he went back to save them.

Cashe helped to rescue all six soldiers from the fiery vehicle and extracted the body of an interpreter killed by the IED. He was able to save the soldiers while under small arms fire. Cashe suffered severe burns on 72% of his body. He succumbed to his injuries and died on Nov. 8, 2005, at the San Antonio Military Medical Center in Texas. Cashe was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.

The NFL has said that only pre-approved names could appear on helmets and would be reserved for victims of racial injustice. Cashe was not on the NFL’s pre-approved list.

The mother of Antwon Rose, Michelle Kenney, criticized Villanueva for not wearing her son’s name on his helmet.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers took a team vote. Obviously one person didn’t like the results so they chose to do something different,” Kenney wrote on Facebook. “I have nothing against vets and absolutely appreciate everything that they have done and continue to do for us. But this one person showed us exactly who he is and obviously he didn’t approve of how the vote turned out.”

In July, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt said that he would not be kneeling during the national anthem. “I’m not kneeling for the flag and screw anybody who have [sic] a problem with that,” he said.

army veteran Football Intelwars IRAQ NFL police shooting social justice

NFL player covers name of police shooting victim on helmet in favor of Army vet killed in Iraq — and shooting victim’s mother is irate

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva is no stranger to controversy.

You might recall almost exactly three years ago when Villanueva — a former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan — stood alone on the field for the national anthem while the rest of the team stayed in the locker room.

It was the fall of 2017, and President Donald Trump — barely a year into his first term — was angry at players taking a knee in protest of police brutality against minorities, a movement that began the previous season with then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Prior to Villanueva standing on the field for the national anthem, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said his entire team would stay in the locker room to help them avoid politics. The next day Villanueva said he regretted his gesture because it made the rest of his team look bad.

Now what?

It’s now the fall of 2020, and football players taking a knee for the national anthem seems decidedly mild compared to the strident social justice stances professional athletes, teams, and leagues are taking in the wake of recent minority deaths at the hands of police and the wave of protests that have gripped the country.

In that vein, the NFL has allowed players to wear helmet decals honoring victims of “systemic racism,” CBS Sports reported, adding that the Steelers decided as a team to honor for an entire season police shooting victim Antwon Rose Jr. — a black teenager shot in the back by a white police officer in Pittsburgh in 2018 after he ran from a pulled-over vehicle. The network said the now-former officer was charged with murder, but a jury found him not guilty in March 2019.

But Villanueva had something different in mind.

For the Steelers’ game against the New York Giants on Monday, he covered Rose’s name on the back of his helmet in favor of the name Alwyn Cashe, an Army sergeant who died after trying to rescue soldiers from a burning vehicle in Iraq in 2005, CBS Sports said.

Tomlin said Tuesday he gave Villanueva permission to break ranks with his teammates and that it was “in line with everything we’ve said about participating in social justice this offseason,” TribLive reported.

“As an organization, and myself as the head coach of the organization, we’re going to support our players however they chose to participate and express themselves, or to not participate or not express themselves, as long as they do so thoughtfully and with class,” Tomlin also said, according to CBS Sports, adding that Villanueva’s choice didn’t warrant an explanation.

Shooting victim’s mom is angry

It appears, however, that Rose’s mother wants an explanation — because she isn’t happy with what Villanueva did.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers took a team vote,” Michelle Kenney wrote on Facebook, according to TribLive. “Obviously, one person didn’t like the results, so they chose to do something different.”

Kenney had praised the team for choosing to place her son’s name on their helmets, saying it “means more to me than anything,” but that feeling appears to be gone.

“I have nothing against vets and absolutely appreciate everything that they have done and continue to do for us,” Kenney also wrote, TribLive said. “But this one person showed us exactly who he is, and obviously he didn’t approve of how the vote turned out.”

Rose’s mother also wrote that she will use what she deemed as “negative press” as motivation to “hold the Pittsburgh Steelers even more accountable,” the outlet reported.

“Yes, I believe in second chances, but as we all know I believe in putting in the work and that’s how I base my collaborations,” Kenney wrote, according to TribLive. “They came to me as a team/organization and I don’t care how good of an individual you are, if you are not a TEAM player, then maybe you are playing for the wrong team.”

Football high school football Illinois Illinois high school football Intelwars Pritzker

Illinois governor says no to high school football this fall. Every bordering state is allowing it.

Despite every bordering state deciding differently, Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker doubled down on his decision not to allow high school football in the state this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What are the details?

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Ptitzker’s stance on the issue has not changed at all since he announced restrictions to high school sports in late July, even as parents and students around the state have engaged in protests and rallies demanding a return to the fall sports season.

The rallies were to no avail, however, as during a news conference Tuesday, the governor handed down his ruling.

“I’m not willing to sacrifice people’s lives or their health, neither the children nor their parents who would be affected also,” he announced. “We are being careful about it but I’m relying on doctors and researchers to give us the information. This isn’t a political decision. I know that there are people who would like me simply to make a political decision to allow people to endanger themselves.”

When asked about the bordering states — Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin — which have all permitted play, Pritzker said “if they decided to endanger children and families … that is their decision.”

“It’s not something that is good for the families and the children of Illinois,” Pritzker concluded, even after noting that Illinois has a lower positivity rate than many of the other states.

The Chicago Tribune reported last week that the Illinois High School Association sent a letter to Pritzker requesting “permission for the IHSA “to resume control over determining the resumption of IHSA sports and activities.”

At least for now, that request appears not to have been granted. However, it is not clear whether the IHSA would move to resume football even if it were to regain control.

Anything else?

While Illinois is unique as only state to ban high school football despite no bordering states doing so, it is far from the only state to postpone the fall season.

According to a Max Preps survey of where high school sports stand in all 50 states across the country, as of last week, 17 states along with the District of Columbia have opted not to have a fall football season.

It may be worth noting that out of those 17 states, 15 of them have Democratic governors.

In Illinois, it seems that Pritzker’s decision is not popular with residents. Sun-Times writer Michael O’Brien posted a poll Tuesday asking: “Do you think Illinois should play high school football now?” He noted that the last time he asked a similar question, readers were in favor of shutting down fall sports.

Though the results are certainly not scientific — since the poll is open to anyone, and not just Illinois residents — it demonstrated that public opinion on the matter has changed.

At the time of this article’s publication, 1,992 votes had been cast with 72% saying “yes.”

covid COVID-19 face mask Face mask debate Football Intelwars NFL

NFL threatens coaches who ignore mask rules on the sidelines

With week 1 of the NFL season nearly in the books (two Monday night games are yet to be played), the league is threatening coaches who fail to comply with newly installed COVID protocols.

What happened?

Before the 2020-21 NFL season began, the league issued COVID protocols requiring everyone with access to each team’s bench area — except players — to wear face coverings at all times. Coaches and staff are allowed to don masks, face shields, or neck gaiters.

After some personnel were seen on television not wearing masks or wearing them improperly, including L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, the league published a warning for all coaches and staff: Comply with the mask requirements or face discipline.

NFL vice president of football operations Troy Vincent sent a stern memo to every team Monday morning with a reminder that they are required to follow league edicts and state and local government regulations, NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero

Vincent began by praising teams for doing what they could to make the season possible, then quickly shifted to reprimand mode: “[W]e must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union and clubs, but also by state and local governments.”

“The NFL-NFLPA Game Day Protocol, which reflects the advice of infectious disease experts, club medical staffs and local and state governmental regulations requires all individuals with bench area access (including coaches and members of the club medical staff) to wear face coverings at all times,” Vincent continued.

Then came the threat — though he never made clear what the consequences would be.

“Failure to adhere to this requirement will result in accountability measures being imposed against offending individuals and/or clubs,” he warned.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter
reported that if disregard for the mask protocol continues, “fines will ensue.”

Speaking of face shields…

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid chose to wear a face shield for his team’s season opener against the Houston Texans on Thursday. Though he did follow protocol during the game, his face covering was a popular point of discussion as the game wore on and his face shield continued to fog up.

Coronavirus Coronavirus test COVID-19 Covid-19 test false positive Football Intelwars NFL

NFL has 77 false positive COVID-19 results from 11 teams — all from the same lab

Positive COVID-19 tests from 11 teams, all of which were tested in the same New Jersey lab, were ruled to be false positives upon reexamination, according to the Associated Press.

In total, 77 positive tests from a New Jersey lab called BioReference turned out to be false. The initial positives had led teams to cancel or delay practices, and isolate some players to prevent further spread.

The Minnesota Vikings had the most false positives with 12, followed by the New York Jets with 10, and the Chicago Bears with nine. Before the 77 false positives, there had only been four confirmed positive tests for players at training camp.

How did this happen?

The lab claims an isolated contamination caused the false positive results, and says that the issue has been corrected.

“On August 22, BioReference Laboratories reported an elevated number of positive COVID-19 PCR test results for NFL players and personnel at multiple clubs,” Dr. Jon R. Cohen, executive chairman of BioReference, said in a statement. “The NFL immediately took necessary actions to ensure the safety of the players and personnel. Our investigation indicated that these were most likely false positive results, caused by an isolated contamination during test preparation in the New Jersey laboratory. Reagents, analyzers and staff were all ruled out as possible causes and subsequent testing has indicated that the issue has been resolved. All individuals impacted have been confirmed negative and informed.”

What happens now?

Although the news of false positives is good for players and teams, it still causes a significant disruption. Once players test positive, even if it is a false positive, they cannot reenter team facilities until they have taken two more tests and received negative results on both.

The NFL’s COVID-19 policy is still in development as the season approaches. Right now, teams are doing daily testing, but that could change after Sept. 5, depending on what the league decides.

For teams, the false positives were somewhat of a trial run of their protocols, although Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski didn’t necessarily appreciate the test. He was listed among the false positives, and wasn’t able to lead Sunday’s practice. He had to stay away from the team’s practice facility.

“It wasn’t fun,” Stefanski said, according to USA Today. “I can laugh about it now, but truly it wasn’t fun to have that phone call very early in the morning and not get the news that it was potentially an error until later. It’s something I take seriously, and our whole goal with our players and our staff is to keep everybody safe.”

Football Intelwars Masks Mississippi Tate reeves

Mississippi’s GOP governor signs statewide mask order, argues: ‘I want to see college football’

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) issued a mandate Tuesday requiring every citizen to wear a mask at public gatherings or while shopping for the next two weeks, arguing that the statewide order is necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 — and to bring back college football.

What are the details?

Reeves held a televised press conference to announce his executive order regarding masks, where he declared, “I want to see college football. The best way for that to occur is for us all to realize is that wearing a mask — as irritating as that can be and I promise I hate it more than anyone watching today — is critical,” the Mississippi Free Press reported.

According to YahooSports:

Reeves is not the first politician or public figure to cite college football as a reason for wearing a mask. Alabama coach Nick Saban even filmed a public service announcement for the school to promote wearing a mask so that the football season could happen. Saban’s PSA came in May, over two months before Reeves’ declaration.

The Clarion Ledger reported that up until Tuesday, Reeves had used a piecemeal approach to mask mandates, requiring them only in 38 of Mississippi’s 82 counties before making a dictate covering the entire state.

The governor previously resisted issuing the statewide order, arguing that mask mandates are difficult to enforce and telling reporters last month, “I know a lot of you think we can snap our fingers and all of a sudden 100% of the people will comply and everything will be great.”

Reeves also announced Tuesday a delay in school reopening for grades 7-12 in a handful of counties, saying, “We must pump the breaks in the hardest hit areas.” Students and adults alike will be required to wear masks in schools.

But Reeves wants to press forward with keeping most schools open, tweeting Monday, “I’ve said it before and I will say it again: We cannot ignore the severe damage that extended school closures do to kids. I know that these days the public conversation favors noise over nuance — but this is nuanced.”

According to the Associated Press, Mississippi’s Health Department reported the state had more than 62,000 reported cases of COVID-19 as of Monday night and 1,753 deaths from the virus. Earlier this week, WTOK-TV reported that “director of the Harvard Global Health Institute Ashish K. Jha predicts that Mississippi will become number one in the nation for COVID-19.”

Football Intelwars Mike Ditka National Anthem National anthem protests star spangled banner X league

Mike Ditka shreds anthem protesters: ‘If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country’

Famed NFL coach Mike Ditka says if people can’t respect the national anthem, they should leave America.

What are the details?

In a now-viral interview with
TMZ Sports, the beloved former Chicago Bears coach aired his grievances about people who don’t treat the country with utmost respect.

“If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country,” he sniped. “That’s the way I feel. Of course, I’m old-fashioned. So, I’m only going to say what I feel. I think there’s a way you protest, and there’s a way you don’t protest.”

Ditka, 80, also hit out at athletes who kneel during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“You don’t protest against the flag, and you don’t protest against this country who’s given you the opportunities to make a living playing a sport that you never thought would happen,” he added. “So I don’t want to hear all the crap.”

This isn’t the first time he’s spoken out against national anthem protests: In 2016, he blasted former NFL player-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick for ushering in the trend.

At the time, Ditka said, “I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick — he probably has no respect for me, that’s his choice. My choice is, I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.”

Mike Ditka Against Anthem Kneeling In New Football League, Leave the Country! | TMZ Sports

Ditka, who is set to take over as owner and chairman of the X League — a woman’s tackle football organization — also said that if he has his way, no women will demonstrate during the X League games.

He added, however, that he doesn’t have final say in whether women will be permitted to kneel according to the league’s national anthem policy.

The outlet reports that the new league will feature eight teams in areas such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and is set to kick off in April 2021.

“These women are pretty and good-looking and want to knock the crap out of each other,” he joked. “We’ll see how it works!”

Of the league, Ditka also said, “Now from an ownership and executive perspective, I want to provide women a high-profile platform to compete against the greatest female athletes in the world while creating a destination league for millions of girls to aspire to play in.”

“It’s time to give women, and girls, the same opportunity to play the game that the men play,” he added.


Football Intelwars NFL Redskins Redskins sexual harassment Sexual Harassment Washington Redskins

15 female ex-employees of Redskins allege sexual harassment; NFL: The accusations are ‘serious, disturbing and contrary’ to league’s values

The Washington Redskins have been embroiled in controversy over the name of their NFL franchise. Now, the team is entangled in another predicament as 15 women who worked for the Redskins claim they were sexually harassed by team employees.

Former female employees of the Redskins allege they were sexually harassed by coworkers while working for the NFL team, according to a report from The Washington Post. The allegations spanned from 2006 to 2019 and included inappropriate comments about the clothing or bodies of female employees, unwelcome sexual advances. The women were also allegedly encouraged to wear revealing clothing and flirt with clients to close sales deals.

For the exposé published on Thursday, the newspaper conducted more than 40 interviews, reviewed internal documents, and obtained potentially damning text messages.

Of the women who came forward with accusations, only one former employee, Emily Applegate, spoke on the record. The other accusers remained anonymous because they signed nondisclosure agreements with the franchise.

“It was the most miserable experience of my life,” said Applegate, who worked as a marketing coordinator before leaving in 2015. “And we all tolerated it, because we knew if we complained — and they reminded us of this — there were 1,000 people out there who would take our job in a heartbeat.”

Daniel Snyder, who has owned the Redskins since 1999, is not accused of sexual harassment. Former team president Bruce Allen is also not accused of inappropriate behavior, but Applegate believes he may have known about issues.

“I would assume Bruce [Allen] knew, because he sat 30 feet away from me… and saw me sobbing at my desk several times every week,” Applegate told The Washington Post.

Allegations were made against Washington’s longtime radio voice, Larry Michael, who abruptly retired on Wednesday after being the team’s lead play-by-play announcer on radio broadcasts for the last 16 seasons. In 2018, Michael was caught on a hot mic talking about the attractiveness of a college-aged intern while filming a video for the team.

“It was disgusting,” said a former female employee who heard the audio. “This is a grown man who could be my grandfather, and he’s talking about someone younger than me.”

Complaints were also made against the director of pro personnel, Alex Santos, who was fired last week. He allegedly made inappropriate comments to six former employees and two reporters who cover the team, and asked the women if they were romantically interested in him.

Richard Mann II, assistant director of pro personnel, was also fired last week. The Washington Post claims they acquired a text message where Mann and other employees debated if a female coworker had undergone a breast enhancement surgery.

Former COO Mitch Gershman, who left the team in 2015, was also named in the report. So was the former president of business operations, Dennis Greene, who left in 2018.

“The Washington Redskins football team takes issues of employee conduct seriously,” the team said in a statement. “While we do not speak to specific employee situations publicly, when new allegations of conduct are brought forward that are contrary to these policies, we address them promptly.”

Ron Rivera, Washington’s head coach who was hired in January, reacted to the allegations.

“Biggest thing is that we have to move forward from this and make sure everybody understands we have policies that we will follow and that we have an open door policy with no retribution,” Rivera said. “Plus my daughter works for the team and I sure as hell am not going to allow any of this!”

Attorney Beth Wilkinson of the D.C.-based law firm of Wilkinson and Walsh has been hired by the team to conduct an independent investigation, as well as review the organization’s protocols, culture, and policies. Wilkinson was asked by the team “to conduct a thorough independent review of this entire manner and help the team set new employee standards for the future.”

The National Football League issued a statement and said they would wait until the end of the independent investigation before handing out any punishments.

These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL’s values. Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment. Washington has engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations. The club has pledged that it will give its full cooperation to the investigator and we expect the club and all employees to do so. We will meet with the attorneys upon the conclusion of their investigation and take any action based on the findings.”

BLM Brett favre Colin Kaepernick Football Intelwars National anthem protests NFL Pat Tillman

Brett Favre says Colin Kaepernick should be considered a ‘hero’ like Army Ranger Pat Tillman

Brett Favre said that Colin Kaepernick, who lost his starting quarterback job to Blaine Gabbert and became a professional activist after NFL teams showed no interest in him, should be considered a “hero” like Pat Tillman, the football player who turned down a multi-million contract to become an Army Ranger following the September 11th terror attacks. Has Brett Favre taken too many hits to the head?

Favre gave an interview to TMZ Sports, where he made the bizarre comparison between the two former NFL players.

“It’s not easy for a guy his age – black or white, Hispanic, whatever – to stop something that you’ve always dreamed of doing, and put it on hold, maybe forever, for something that you believe in,” Favre said of Kaepernick.

“I can only think of right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman is another guy that did something similar,” Favre said. “And, we regard him as a hero. So, I’d assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”

Brett Favre Compares Kaepernick To Pat Tillman, ‘I’d Assume Hero Status Will Be Stamped’

In Kaepernick’s last two NFL seasons, he had a pass completion percentage under 60% and a QB rating under 50. Kaepernick’s poor play on the field and social justice distractions on the sidelines, including wearing socks depicting cops as pigs and praising Fidel Castro, prompted the San Francisco 49ers to reportedly consider releasing him in 2016, but before the team could let him go, Kaepernick opted out of his contract.

Despite having backup quarterback talent, Kaepernick allegedly demanded a starting QB job with a starting QB salary. No NFL team has signed Kaepernick since he opted out of his 49ers contract in 2016.

Without a football career, Kapernick became a professional activist. In 2018, his decision paid off. Despite not playing football, Nike signed Kaepernick to a contract to sell athletic sneakers that paid him as much as “seven figures.”

Pat Tillman was a defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals, and broke the franchise record for tackles in 2000 with 224. Then his world was turned upside down by the 9/11 terror attacks.

Following the 2001 NFL season, Tillman walked away from a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army.

“Sports embodied many of the qualities I deem meaningful: courage, toughness, strength etc., while at the same time the attention I received reinforced its seeming importance,” Tillman said in 2002. “However, these last few years, and especially after recent events, I’ve come to appreciate just how shallow and insignificant my role is. I’m no longer satisfied with the path I’ve been following… it’s no longer important.”

Tillman became a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, “the Army’s premier direct-action raid force.” He served tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2004.

“On the evening of April 22, 2004, Pat’s unit was ambushed as it traveled through the rugged, canyon terrain of eastern Afghanistan,” the Pat Tillman Foundation website states. “His heroic efforts to provide cover for fellow soldiers as they escaped from the canyon led to his untimely and tragic death via fratricide.”

Tillman was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star medals. The Cardinals retired Tillman’s jersey and there is a bronze statue of him outside the State Farm Stadium. Arizona State University named the football locker room entryway to Sun Devil Stadium, the “Pat Tillman Memorial Tunnel.”

The Truth Behind the Pat Tillman Story

Art rooney Football Intelwars NFL Roger Goodell Rooney rule

NFL considering giving teams much higher draft picks if they hire minorities as head coaches or general managers

The NFL is considering implementing new rules that would award teams who hire minorities as head coaches and general managers by giving those franchises higher draft picks, on some occasions, much higher picks.

NFL owners will virtually hold their annual May league meeting on May 19, and one of the topics will be minority hiring, especially when it comes to general managers and head coaches. In 2003, the NFL instituted the Rooney Rule, which is named after former Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who was a former chairman of the league’s diversity committee. The rule requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for any head coach or senior football operations position.

Despite the Rooney Rule being in effect for nearly two decades, there are four non-white head coaches and two non-white general managers from the 32 franchises. “Two of the four African-American head coaches hired since 2017, were fired after one and two seasons, respectively,” according to the NFL. The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport found that 70% of NFL players are black.

In an effort to hire more non-white coaches and GMs, the NFL will reward teams who hire minorities for those positions. NFL Media reporter Jim Trotter outlined how the new rules for incentivizing minority hiring could work:

If a team hires a minority head coach, that team, in the draft preceding the coach’s second season, would move up six spots from where it is slotted to pick in the third round. A team would jump 10 spots under the same scenario for hiring a person of color as its primary football executive, a position more commonly known as general manager.

If a team were to fill both positions with diverse candidates in the same year, that club could jump 16 spots — six for the coach, 10 for the GM — and potentially move from the top of the third round to the middle of the second round. Another incentive: a team’s fourth-round pick would climb five spots in the draft preceding the coach’s or GM’s third year if he is still with the team.

Another potential rule change that the National Football League is reportedly exploring is that any team which “hires a person of color as its quarterbacks coach would receive a compensatory pick at the end of the fourth round if it retains that employee beyond one season.” The NFL notes that there are currently “only two African-American QB coaches in Pep Hamilton of the Chargers and Marcus Brady of the Colts.”

The league is also looking into awarding a fifth-round compensatory pick to any team that loses a minority assistant who then becomes a coordinator for another team.

“If a minority assistant left to become a coordinator elsewhere, his former club would receive a fifth-round compensatory pick,” Trotter wrote of a potential rule change. “And if a person of color leaves to become a head coach or general manager, his previous team would receive a third-round compensatory pick.”

The NFL is considering expanding the Rooney Rule by doubling the number of minority candidates a team must interview for head coach vacancies. The league may also extend the Rooney Rule to include coordinator positions.

“I think where we are right now, is not where we want to be, not where we need to be,” Steelers owner Art Rooney II said in January. “We need to take a step back and look at what’s happening with our hiring processes. The first thing we’ll do as part of our diversity committee is really review this past season’s hiring cycle and make sure we understand what went on and talk to the people involved both on the owners’ side, management’s side as well as the people that were interviewed.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hinted that the league wanted to increase minority hiring. “Clearly we are not where we want to be on this level,” Goddell said right before Super Bowl LIV in Miami. “It’s clear we need to change. We have already begun discussing those changes, what stages we can take next to determine better outcomes.”

Bodyslam Eastern kentucky Football Intelwars Michael harris Police

Dashcam footage shows college football player bodyslamming police officer during arrest

An Eastern Kentucky University football player is facing multiple charges after bodyslamming a police officer during his arrest for allegedly refusing to leave a business in Ohio earlier this week.

The incident was recorded on dashcam footage released by the Grove City Police Department and has since gone viral.

What are the details?

Redshirt sophomore Michael Harris was confronted by police Monday when officers responded to a disturbance at a Grove City business “involving an aggressive man” who refused to leave, the New York Post reported.

Harris can be seen on video arguing with officers before lifting one officer above his head and slamming the policeman to the pavement. It took three officers to subdue Harris, who was eventually arrested and charged with one felony count of assault and misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct while intoxicated, obstructing official business, and resisting arrest.

According to KFSN-TV, Harris would not calm down and repeatedly told officers to take him to jail. Police said they believed at the time that Harris was intoxicated and appeared to not know where he was or to know anyone in the area, WBNS-TV reported.

The officer bodyslammed by the 6′ 3″, 240-pound football player was not injured in the incident.

Harris has since been suspended from the football program at Eastern Kentucky University.

The school released a statement saying, “Understanding the details of the incident are still under investigation, and, abiding by FERPA laws and regulations, we must respect the privacy of our students. When the facts are established, and the investigation complete, Eastern Kentucky University and EKU Athletics will decide how to move forward responsibly.”

Anything else?

Harris transferred to EKU from Auburn University in Alabama. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday, the Daily Mail reported.