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Jaguars hold own protest against inequality, police brutality in march to sheriff’s office

The Jacksonville Jaguars held their own protest Friday against inequality and police brutality, marching from their stadium to the steps of the local sheriff’s department.

“Today we say, ‘No more,'” wide receiver Chris Conley said. “Today we see a nation that can’t await change, a city that won’t sit still or be quiet.”

Players were joined by their families, coach Doug Marrone, general manager Dave Caldwell and assistant coach Terry Robiskie. The Jaguars started the march at 9:04 a.m. ET to signify the local 904 area code.

The protest came two days after owner Shad Khan spoke against racism in a letter on the team website. He promised then that the franchise would work toward a “timely response.”

Conley, wearing a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt, spoke at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department. He said he cried when he saw the video of the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was jogging when killed Feb. 23 in Georgia.

“Let’s not make the same mistakes we’ve made,” Marrone said. “We need to stand together white and black to make this movement work.”nfl nike jersey cheap

Marrone went to his office after the march. No other coaches accompanied him to the team’s facility.2

The Jaguars’ protest is just one of many involving athletes since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Former Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell sponsored the Belle Isle Freedom March on Friday, a rally followed by a milelong walk.

The Lions tweeted about the march, and according to the Detroit Free Press, Lions coach Matt Patricia was in attendance at least for the rally portion of the event. Some Lions players who are local, including Jamal Agnew, Julian Okwara and Romeo Okwara, also attended.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Agnew, according to a Free Press video, protested while holding a sign celebrating Breonna Taylor’s birthday, which was Friday, and asking for justice in her case.

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp and football players joined others in a protest march from the governor’s mansion Friday.

Gamecocks quarterback Jay Urich joined several hundred people and carried a sign that read, “Matter is the minimum. Black lives are worthy. Black lives are beloved. Black lives are needed.”

On Wednesday, two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry marched in a protest along with his wife and four teammates from the Golden State Warriors, including Klay Thompson. Shaq Thompson and four other Carolina Panthers walked in a protest march Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina, with Thompson helping lead the way.

In Jacksonville, Jaguars center Brandon Linder, wide receiver DJ Chark, right tackle Jawaan Taylor, linebacker Lerentee McCray, kicker Josh Lambo and quarterback Joshua Dobbs were among the players who attended. Some players who were not in Jacksonville, including quarterback Gardner Minshew, linebacker Joe Schobert and defensive end Aaron Lynch, submitted videos in support of the march that were posted on the team’s official website.

DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson support removal of John Calhoun’s name at Clemson

Former Clemson players DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson are petitioning the university to remove the name of John C. Calhoun from the school’s honors college, with Hopkins noting that the slave owner’s influence is the reason he does not mention the university’s name when he’s introduced before NFL games.

Calhoun, who served as vice president under John Quincy Adams from 1825 to 1829, advocated for slavery, saying it was “a positive good.” The Clemson campus is built on Calhoun’s Fort Hill Plantation, where, according to his bio on the school’s website, he enslaved 70-80 African Americans.nfl jerseys nike cheap1

“I felt this oppressive figure during my time at Clemson and purposely do not mention the University’s name before NFL games because of it,” Hopkins wrote on Instagram. “I am joining the voices of the students and faculty who have restarted this petition to rename the Calhoun Honors College. I urge all Clemson students, football players, and alumni to join us, so the next generation of young Black leaders can be proud of the institution they graduate from. Now is the time for change.nfl nike jersey cheap

Both Hopkins and Watson, former teammates with the Houston Texans before Hopkins was traded during the offseason to the Arizona Cardinals, tweeted a link to a Change.org petition that demands that Clemson “remove John C. Calhoun’s name from one of our most distinguished academic programs.”

The petition says that “Clemson University President James P. Clements recently stated that Clemson will not tolerate racism ‘in any form,'” and that Calhoun’s words and actions contradict that.

“Clemson University should not honor slave owner John C. Calhoun in any way,” Watson tweeted Monday. “His name should be removed from all University property and programming. I am joining the students, faculty & DeAndre to restart this petition to rename the Calhoun Honors College.”

Hopkins acknowledged in his Instagram post that seeing Calhoun represented at Clemson “has been bothering me for a long time.”

Vikings’ Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr denounce NFL statement, ask for help

A week after George Floyd died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, an incident that sparked mass protests in the Twin Cities and across the nation, two Minnesota Vikings linebackers are speaking out in response to a statement issued by the NFL on Saturday.

The league’s statement expressed condolences to the Floyd family; Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police Department officers in March; and Ahmaud Arbery, whose February death is being investigated as a federal hate crime.

In the statement, the NFL addressed its commitment to using its platform “in communities and as part of the fabric of American society” and added “we embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners.”nfl jerseys wholesale

Vikings linebackers Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr, who are on the team’s social justice committee, issued identical tweets denouncing the league’s stance.8

“Your statement said nothing,” both tweets read. “Your league is built on black athletes. Vague answers do nothing. Let the players know what you’re ACTUALLY doing. And we know what silence means.”

“You can’t bring in people to teach us how we should interact with police but not work towards changing the behavior of the police themselves. Silence will not make this go away.”

The Vikings are discussing methods for how to best support the Twin Cities with cleanup efforts and other charitable causes. Tight end Kyle Rudolph and a handful of other players are organizing a food drive that will take place in the Minneapolis area on Friday.

Rudolph has also been an active member of the Vikings’ social justice committee, which was formed two years ago and aims to provide school supplies and scholarships in low-income communities, work with community organizations and juvenile detention centers, provide legal aid and improve relations between law enforcement officers and the areas they serve.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer issued a statement on Floyd’s death Tuesday.nfl jerseys from china

“Peaceful protests can help bring change, and we definitely need change so we can all live in harmony,” he said as part of his statement. “Everyone needs to respect each other’s ideas and work together to strengthen, not weaken, our community. I believe our football team is an example of how people from all different backgrounds and experiences can come together for a common goal.”

Lions’ Duron Harmon speaks up about racism, what to tell his son about police brutality

“It was very unfortunate, with everything going around, and I’m trying to explain to my 8-year-old why George Floyd lost his life and try to explain to him the best as I can for an 8-year-old that this is not right. This is wrong. And, you know, it really brought me to tears because it’s like the world should never be like this. We shouldn’t treat people the way we treat them just based off the color of your skin.”nfl jerseys from china

When Harmon tried to explain Floyd’s death to his son, his son struggled to grasp why a police officer would do that. He knows the police officers who come to his school and are friends with his father. Harmon said his son called them “uncles.”

So how does he explain to his son what has happened? Harmon tried to focus on love, on what he’s learned from his faith.

“Through the midst of it, you’ve got to love. No matter what, right, wrong or indifferent, you’ve got to love,” Harmon said. “Just tried to instill that in him, that no matter the skin color, people are people. It’s the human race and we got to do better as a community to just push that out there.7

“To do that, we have to identify the issue and have to realize, some people get upset when we say black lives matter. Some people pull back and say, ‘well, all lives.’ Yes, all lives matter but until we view black lives the same as white lives, all lives matter, that means nothing.”

Harmon had a conversation about race with his parents when he was 17 years old — a talk, looking back now, he says was maybe a little too late. It came after an incident where a police officer in Delaware made Harmon get out of a car while he was waiting for his parents outside of Wal-Mart. The officer, Harmon said, threatened to break the glass of his window if he didn’t get out of the vehicle because he was parked in a fire lane, which he said he was ticketed for.nfl jerseys wholesale

“My mom and my father, they told me, look, you are a black man,” Harmon said. “Right, wrong or indifferent, you are feared. When people see you get upset, they think and they see the big black guy who is angry. So you need to do a better job of controlling your emotions. You need to do a good job when you’re in a situation with the police, always be respectful, always show your hands, always roll down the window.”

Harmon said the police department learned he was a football player going to Rutgers and his family ended up going to the station to watch video of the incident. Watching it — and seeing the microphone and video cut at points — opened his eyes to the reality that he needed to be careful.

Source: Seahawks make 1-year offer to Devonta Freeman, in talks with Carlos Hyde

In need of a veteran running back, the Seattle Seahawks have made a one-year offer to two-time Pro Bowler Devonta Freeman and also have been in talks with Carlos Hyde, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday.

The Seahawks are looking to reinforce their backfield with starter Chris Carson and 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny coming off season-ending injuries. Another veteran running back, Marshawn Lynch, told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt earlier this month that his agent had been in contact with the team about a potential return to Seattle.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The 28-year-old Freeman, meanwhile, has been a free agent since the Atlanta Falcons released him in March with three years and $21 million remaining on his contract.

SiriusXM NFL Radio first reported Seattle’s offer to Freeman.8

Hyde, 29, is coming off a career-high 1,070-yard season with the Houston Texans. He carried 245 times, also a career high, and scored six touchdowns in his lone season with Houston. The 2014 second-round pick previously played for the 49ers, Browns and Jaguars.

NFL Network first reported the news of the talks between Seattle and Hyde.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

General manager John Schneider told KJR-AM in Seattle earlier this month that Carson (hip) is expected to be ready by Week 1 but that Penny’s recovery from reconstructive knee surgery might sideline him beyond then. Penny tore his left ACL and suffered additional damage to the knee in Week 14 of last season.

Schneider said it’s going to be “really hard” for Penny to make it back by roster cutdowns, which happen the weekend before the opener. The Seahawks believe there’s a strong chance Penny will have to begin the season on the physically unable to perform list, in which case he’d have to miss the first six games.

The rest of the Seahawks’ backfield consists of second-year pro Travis Homer and three rookies: DeeJay Dallas (fourth round), Anthony Jones (UDFA) and Patrick Carr (UDFA).

The Seahawks open the 2020 regular season against the Falcons in Atlanta.

Jets, Jamal Adams reach impasse in contract extension talks, sources say

The New York Jets and Jamal Adams have reached an impasse in contract talks, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday, raising tensions between the team and its star safety.

The two sides have had multiple conversations since the NFL draft, but the Jets told him they prefer to wait on a long-term extension and Adams wants a deal before the season, sources said.

The Adams camp is upset, claiming the Jets are dragging their feet, sources said.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

On Wednesday, the cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesalepossibility of a trade came up in a conversation between the two sides, sources said, but there are conflicting accounts on how serious those talks were.

The Jets remain intent on signing Adams, 24, to an extension and have no desire to trade him, a source said. Adams is said to be open to a trade if his contract demands aren’t met. More than half the teams in the league have reached out to the Jets to express interest, according to a source.7

Clearly there is a fundamental difference on the timing of a potential extension. They haven’t discussed money yet, sources said.

Adams, eligible for a new contract now that he has completed his third season, said in January that he wants an extension by the start of the 2020 season. He is due to make $3.5 million this year. His salary jumps to $9.9 million in 2021, the amount of his fifth-year option.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Conversely, the Jets don’t feel there is a sense of urgency because they have Adams under team control for at least two years and have the option of the franchise tag in 2022. Another component is the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, which could have a massive impact on NFL revenue.

Since 2011, only 16 of 223 first-round picks received a new contract after their third season. The most recent was Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, who was drafted eighth overall in 2017 — two spots after Adams.

Adams believes he is worthy of being an exception after being named All-Pro and making two Pro Bowls in his first three seasons. He hasn’t named his price publicly, but it’s believed he wants to become the NFL’s highest-paid safety. The Chicago Bears’ Eddie Jackson has the highest average per year at $14.6 million.

The Jets entertained trade offers for Adams last fall at the trade deadline, with the Dallas Cowboys showing interest. Adams was furious upon hearing his name had come up in trade discussions.

General manager Joe Douglas said in February that his goal was to make Adams “a Jet for life,” and he hasn’t wavered on that position publicly. After the draft, Douglas said his plan was to reach out to Adams’ agent to initiate contract talks. He did, but those talks haven’t been fruitful.

Packers fellowship goes to friend of Matt LaFleur, Aaron Rodgers

Matt LaFleur has created a full-time, year-round minority fellowship on the Green Bay Packers coaching staff, and the first person to hold the job has a connection to both the second-year head coach and quarterback Aaron Rodgers: He has caught passes from both of them.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

LaFleur tabbed former NFL receiver Ruvell Martin, who had LaFleur as his quarterback at Saginaw Valley State before he began his career with the Packers in 2005.5

Martin, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Chargers, played in 82 career games for four different teams. Half those games came in three seasons with the Packers (2006-08). He quickly became friends with Rodgers and caught a touchdown pass from him in 2008, which was Rodgers’ first year as a starter.

LaFleur created the position for “young and aspiring minority coaches,” the team said. Martin will work with the offense, coordinated by Nathaniel Hackett, and will assist first-year receivers coach Jason Vrable.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

The Packers previously had hired minority coaching interns for training camp but not for a full season. In 2018, they had three former players — Jarrett Bush, Nick Barnett and Brandon Jackson — as coaching interns as part of the NFL‘s Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship Program.

Jordan Love’s transformation from ‘Sticks’ to Packers’ future QB

“It took him awhile to grow,” Barnes said. “Freshman year, he was shorter than most of us. It wasn’t until his junior year that he really had a growth spurt and even senior year he was still light, probably weighed 170 maybe. We used to make fun of him and call him ‘Nutella Sticks,’ and we used to try to make him eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”

When Matt Wells, then the head coach at Utah State, first laid eyes on him during the spring before Love’s junior year of high of school: “He was 6-2, 170 — and that 170 was maybe on a good day,” Wells said.cheap nike nfl jersey

“Whenever he came back from college, that’s a whole different story,” said cornerback Johnny Balderas, another of Love’s high school teammates. “This was a grown man, and it was amazing just how he looked. Time changed, and so did he.”

It took awhile, but the Jordan Love who got the call from the Green Bay Packers with the 26th pick in last month’s NFL draft no longer looked like a Nutella stick. These days, he’s almost 6-4 and 224 pounds and tough as leather both physically and emotionally, according to those who have watched him mature.6

Such is the physical maturation of Love, who impressed the Packers enough for them to create one of the biggest stirs of the offseason when they traded up to pick him in the first round even though their two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers remains under contract through the 2023 season and has given every indication he plans to play through then (and perhaps beyond).

The answers started with Love’s mom, Anna. The longtime California Highway Patrol officer became the central figure in Love’s life after her husband and Jordan’s father, Orbin, a veteran of the Bakersfield Police Department, died by suicide in 2013. Anna Love declined comment for this story, but she wrote in Orbin Love’s obituary that he was “taken suddenly by a medical demon,” blaming his sudden change in behavior on a new blood pressure medication. Jordan was 14 years old at the time of his father’s death.

“He told my son, ‘I’m done with sports; my dad wanted me to play,'” said Dennis Hicks, whose son Dennis II was one of Love’s childhood friends. “My son would tell him, ‘Just stick with it, you’re too good. What are you going to quit for? He wanted you to be a quarterback. At least let’s finish out high school.’ So I think some of their little talks helped. Then he started to love it.”

Like Orbin Love, Dennis Hicks was heavily involved in his son’s athletic pursuits. Together, they coached Jordan and Dennis II in seventh grade basketball.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“We were the only two fathers there when all the kids were trying out,” Hicks said. “He was at one end of the gym and I was at the other, and we saw this one coach trying to coach the seventh and eighth grade boys. We said, ‘Do you think this guy needs some help?’ So we asked him, and then next thing you know we’re coaching the seventh graders. Orbin was always there for Jordan.”

Cowboys’ Ben DiNucci reminds Mike McCarthy ‘of a young Marc Bulger’

Late last week, Ben DiNucci was driving back from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with a couple of things he had left at his college place as he was preparing for the NFL draft.

The seventh-round pick had been part of the Dallas Cowboys for less than a week, and he was on his way back to his family’s home in Wexford, Pennsylvania. Instead of flying to Dallas for a rookie minicamp this week, he was back in his old bedroom, surrounded by trophies and posters reminding him of his dream of playing in the NFL.

“The bedroom’s still the same,” DiNucci said. “Might be a little more dust on [the trophies].”new nike nfl jerseys cheap

Like the rest of the rookie class, DiNucci doesn’t know when he will make it to The Star, as NFL facilities are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. He has an iPad and playbook and, by the end of the week, will be taking part in virtual meetings with his new teammates.

Without the chance to be on the field in the offseason, DiNucci’s chances to impress the coaches will be more difficult, but that’s life every year for a late-round pick.

DiNucci is used to seizing opportunities.7

Go back to January, when he was at The Star as James Madison’s quarterback, preparing for the FCS national title game against North Dakota State. The Dukes were staying at the Omni Hotel connected to the Cowboys’ practice facility, and DiNucci stepped on the elevator to get to a meeting.

A number of teammates were in the elevator — and so was Mike McCarthy, who only a few days earlier had been named Cowboys coach.

“He was standing in the back and I recognized him immediately, so I went to the back, stood by him and introduced myself,” DiNucci said. “Just elevator talk: ‘Hey, Coach, your brother Joe was my eighth-grade basketball coach.’ He was familiar with the Pine-Richland area, being from Pittsburgh. He said good luck, and I wished him the best of luck in Dallas.

“When I got off the elevator, I asked my teammates, ‘Any of you guys know who that was?’ And they were like, ‘No.’ ‘Come on, that’s coach McCarthy.’ It was pretty funny. They were like, ‘Are you kidding me?’buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

From that chance meeting, DiNucci made an impression and McCarthy kept finding connections.

DiNucci grew up outside Pittsburgh, like McCarthy. He was coached by McCarthy’s brother. He started his college career at Pittsburgh, where McCarthy coached. His coach at James Madison, Curt Cignetti, is the brother of a former McCarthy assistant, Frank Cignetti Jr., who is now the offensive coordinator at Boston College.

Ravens take Buckeyes’ J.K. Dobbins in NFL draft on heels of record rushing season

After setting the NFL‘s single-season rushing record in 2019, the Baltimore Ravens used a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft on Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins.

For some, including Dobbins, it was a surprise that Baltimore selected him. For the Ravens, it was a surprise that Dobbins fell that far.

General manager Eric DeCosta said he thought Dobbins would be taken in the bottom of the first round, between picks Nos. 25 and 30, and had a chance to be the first running back drafted. Instead, the runner who set Ohio State’s single-season rushing record was sitting there at No. 55, the selection Baltimore received from the Atlanta Falcons in the trade of tight end Hayden Hurst.

“We didn’t really expect [Dobbins to be available there], I don’t think anybody really did,” DeCosta said. “But we just had to take him. He’s just a talented guy. It just made too much sense for us not to take him.”cheap nike nfl jerseys china

With NFL MVP Lamar Jackson leading the way, Baltimore set a new league mark last season with 3,296 yards rushing. The Ravens also became the second team in NFL history with three 700-yard rushers (the 2011 Carolina Panthers were the other). All of those players, Jackson and running backs Mark Ingram II and Gus Edwards, remain with Baltimore.8

But Ingram turned 30 in December and backup Edwards is a free agent next offseason. When Ingram was injured late in the season, Baltimore struggled to run the ball in a playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans, getting 42 rushing yards from its running backs.

That led the Ravens to draft their first running back in the first two rounds since Ray Rice in 2008, which certainly caught Dobbins off guard because of Baltimore’s depth at the position.

“I honestly didn’t know that I was going to receive a call from Baltimore, but God works in mysterious ways, and here I am today,” Dobbins said. “I feel like I’ll thrive in this offense.”

Dobbins ran for 2,003 yards in 2019, the most in Ohio State history. He is one of four running backs with 1,000 yards rushing in each of the past three seasons, along with Zack Moss, Jonathan Taylor and AJ Dillon.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

Even though Dobbins was available, the Ravens could have easily addressed more pressing needs at wide receiver, the interior of the offensive line or the pass rush. But DeCosta learned from former general manager Ozzie Newsome that great players will unexpectedly plummet and you have to be prepared to take them.

So the Ravens made the decision to grab Dobbins, who watched four other running backs get drafted before him.

“We’re a team that likes to run the football. Having running backs is really, really important,” DeCosta said. “This was a guy that’s, in my opinion, one of the very best in college football this year. He’s going to be a dangerous player for us and give us the depth to do what we like to do.”