Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncey: ‘We’ll all be standing for the national anthem’

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 8:44 PM

Center Maurkice Pouncey #53 of the Pittsburgh Steelers says the entire team will stand during the national anthem at an upcoming game.
J. Meric/Getty Images/Getty Images
Center Maurkice Pouncey #53 of the Pittsburgh Steelers says the entire team will stand during the national anthem at an upcoming game.(J. Meric/Getty Images/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey said the team will stand united during the national anthem Sunday before its game against the Baltimore Ravens.

“I think the bigger message was we were trying to stay out of it. That we should (have) united inside,” Pouncey told reporters after practice Wednesday. “It was all about the flag. It was just a big misunderstanding. Trust me, I’m very sorry to anyone who feels the way they do. I care about the flag dearly. Trust me, this team will be out there standing Sunday.”

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The Steelers made national headlines earlier this week when they stayed in the tunnel during the national anthem before their game against the Chicago Bears. 

Offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva was seen standing several feet in front of the rest of the team, which led to speculation about whether the players were divided.

Pouncey addressed that as well.

“That’s something that happened after the whirlwind of the meeting. It was a shock to all of us. We feel just as bad. Trust us. We keep telling you guys ... We gotta make it right, and I honestly think we will go out and make it right.”

The NFL Responds to Trump’s ‘Divisive’ Remarks

Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Heyward addressed the controversy Monday, trying to make it clear that the team supports our country and our troops. Pouncey reiterated that message.

“I promise you one thing this week, we’ll all be standing out there for the national anthem,” Pouncey said. “Trust me. We respect our flag and we respect the military."

Protests during the anthem in the NFL gained attention last year when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began sitting, later kneeling during the anthem. Since then, players in different sports have kneeled during the anthem to draw attention to racial inequality, police brutality and general social injustices in the United States.

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‘Pacman’ Jones assaulted at Atlanta airport, police say

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 @ 12:37 PM
Updated: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 @ 2:31 PM

Adam Jones played nine games for the Bengals last season. 
Tim Warner/Getty Images
Adam Jones played nine games for the Bengals last season. (Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Former Cincinnati Bengal Adam “Pacman” Jones was assaulted by a contract worker at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, police said. 

The ABM worker, identified as Frank Ragin, made a gesture toward Jones about 10 p.m. Tuesday, Atlanta police said. Jones confronted the man about what he meant by the gesture and the two began to argue, according to police.

Frank Ragin

 

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ABM is a contractor that deals with airport building maintenance and facility services. The argument occurred on the airport’s concourse B, police said. 

Ragin allegedly punched Jones, injuring his face. He also allegedly struck Jones’ companion, who has not been identified, injuring her hand. 

Police said Jones, 34, a native of Atlanta, then pushed Ragin to the ground. Police eventually determined Ragin was the primary aggressor. 

Ragin, who was charged with two counts of battery, was transported to a downtown Atlanta hospital to be treated for his injuries.  

TMZ Sports obtained video of the incident. (Note: Video includes offensive language)

Jones and his companion declined medical treatment.

Jones, who was drafted in 2005 out of West Virginia by the Tennessee Titans, has also played for the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals. The cornerback played in nine games for the Bengals last season. He is currently a free agent.

Jones was arrested in January 2017, accused of assault, disorderly conduct and other charges related to an incident in Cincinnati's downtown entertainment district.

Jones was acquitted in 2013 on an assault charge in Hamilton County after a woman accused him of punching her in a nightclub. Earlier that year, he paid a fine for disorderly conduct after police accused him of making offensive comments during a traffic stop. He also pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in January 2012 after an arrest at a Cincinnati bar.

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NFL Players Association files grievance over anthem policy

Published: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 @ 1:15 PM

NFL Announces Policy Change Regarding National Anthem

The NFL Players Association announced Tuesday that it has filed a grievance against the league’s national anthem policy, which was put in place in May.

NFL owners approved the policy May 23. Under it, individual teams will have the ability to fine players and other personnel who do not stand and “show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”

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At the time of the policy’s approval, the NFLPA issued a statement against it, saying the owners did not consult the union.

“NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about,” the union said in a statement. “The vote by NFL club CEOs (May 23) contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principals, values and patriotism of our League.

“Our union will review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”

Related: NFL owners approve new national anthem policy, will fine teams that allow players to kneel

In the NFLPA’s announcement Tuesday, the union said the policy infringes on players’ rights:

“Our union filed its non-injury grievance today on behalf of all players challenging the NFL’s recently imposed anthem policy. The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.

“In advance of our filing today, we proposed to the NFL to begin confidential discussions with the NFLPA Executive Committee to find a solution to this issue instead of immediately proceeding with litigation. The NFL has agreed to proceed with those discussions and we look forward to starting them soon.”

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Trump says there's 'no leadership in NFL'

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

Roger Goodell Wants NFL Players To Stand During Anthem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally for Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)(Evan Vucci/AP)
Goddell said last week that players “are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag, but they also understand how it's being interpreted, and we're dealing with those underlying issues."

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Former Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel signs with CFL team

Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 12:22 PM

What You Need To Know About Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel is taking his football career north of the border.

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The former Texas A&M star quarterback who had two disappointing seasons with the Cleveland Browns marred by off-the-field antics has signed a two-year-deal with the Canadian Football League.

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Manziel will play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the league announced Saturday. Manziel confirmed his decision on Twitter. "I believe this is the best opportunity for me moving forward and I’m eager for what the future holds," Manziel wrote.

Manziel last played professional football in 2015. He has a 74.4 career quarterback rating in the NFL.

Manziel has been working on a comeback since being released by the Browns in 2016. Known for his excessive partying off the field, Manziel says he is now sober and has been receiving treatment for bipolar disorder. 

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