NFL

Do Politics Have A Place In The NFL?

Oct 13, 2017

Freedom, respect and “taking a knee” in the NFL. The VP walks out. Trump threatens. What’s right here?

The past few days have been particularly chaotic, even for a president who seems to thrive on self-created chaos.

There's been a feud with a key Republican senator, a flare-up at a professional football game with President Trump instructing his vice president to walk out when players (on the most activist team in the NFL) knelt during the national anthem, and he even questioned the IQ of his secretary of state.

Updated Monday 8:20 a.m. ET

President Trump on Monday defended Vice President Mike Pence's decision to walk out of Sunday's NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers in Indianapolis.

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Today on “Political Rewind,” in the same week that yet another Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare goes down in defeat, Congress faces crucial deadlines for existing programs that have a big impact on health care in Georgia. Charity hospitals could lose millions of dollars in federal financial aid. Federal funds to help pay for medical expenses for children from low-income families also face elimination. Will Congress act to save these programs?

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Sports has long been known as the great unifier. But in the NFL, this season feels different.  

President Trump defended his high-profile campaign against NFL players who kneel during the national anthem and insisted it hasn't distracted him from hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

"To me, the NFL situation is a very important situation," Trump said Tuesday at a news conference. "I have plenty of time on my hands. All I do is work."

Trump complained about protesting football players at a campaign rally in Alabama on Friday. Since then, he has tweeted or retweeted on the subject more than 20 times.

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Last week President Trump disparaged professional football players for kneeling during the national anthem. The president’s comments generated gestures of unity at NFL games Sunday and Monday night. The Atlanta Falcons were among the many players, coaches and owners who locked arms during the anthem to protest racial injustice. Fifty years ago two Olympic athletes brought this kind of silent protest to the medal podium. Track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists during the ceremony.

Last week President Trump disparaged professional football players for kneeling during the national anthem. The president’s comments generated gestures of unity at NFL games Sunday. The Atlanta Falcons were among the many players, coaches and owners who locked arms during the anthem to protest racial injustice. Fifty years ago two Olympic athletes brought this kind of silent protest to the medal podium. Track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists during the ceremony.

Donald Trump has revivified the silent protest begun last year by football player Colin Kapaernick, who began to kneel during the performance of the national anthem at the beginning of football games to draw attention to racially motivated violence and unrest in the country.

Saturday night, music legend Stevie Wonder told the crowd gathered in Central Park: "Tonight, I'm taking a knee for America ... but not just one knee — I'm taking both knees." Wonder's brief speech was met with deafening applause.

It seemed like the controversy involving NFL players kneeling during the national anthem had died down a bit — that is until President Trump stirred up a hornet's nest Friday night during a campaign trip to Alabama.

Trump unleashed a tirade of strong comments against NFL players who don't stand during the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner."

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NFL fans right now are deeply divided, and it's not about which team is better.

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First, a new report finds chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 110 of 111 brains of deceased former NFL players. The study adds to a  growing body of knowledge about the connection between contact sports and brain-damaging concussions. We talk with Steve Broglio, Director of the NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

We also talk with former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Buddy Curry, who is working to improve football education with his group, “Kids & Pros.”

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A new study from Georgia Tech takes a deep look into the consequences of the National Football League draft. Over the last decade, the NFL draft has become a spectacle for viewers and fans. But as the pool increases, the average player’s career length is decreasing. The draft has also become a point of strategy, one that can set a team up for a season of success, or failure. We talk with Georgia Tech professor John Stasko, and GPB Sports Correspondent Jon Nelson.

Atlanta Stadium Official Says New Facility Ready In 3 Months

Apr 26, 2017
Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Workers are racing to complete Atlanta's new $1.5 billion stadium project in the next three months after ongoing roof issues have delayed the facility's opening.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium general manager Scott Jenkins told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the building is 90 percent done, and "is looking great."

The biggest holdup has been construction of the roof. Jenkins said the challenge with the roof has been installing the eight steel petals that would enable it to retract and open like a camera lens.

How could the first Super Bowl of the Trump era escape politics?

It couldn't.

If you were just watching the game on TV, the politics were mostly subtle. Sure, there were the political ads. There were ads for everyone from NASCAR to Airbnb, which has taken on President Trump's travel ban.

Atlanta Falcons

On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. It will wind up as the Falcons first Super Bowl win, or the Patriots’ fifth. GPB Senior Sports correspondent Jon Nelson joined us for a preview.

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It is Super Bowl weekend. We're hoping the Falcons and Patriots give us a good game. If not, at least we have the commercials - so many memorable moments.

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UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Have a good one on...

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And I'm David Greene. And, Steve, I do not have to tell you how excited I was the other night when my Pittsburgh Steelers hung on to beat the Kansas City Chiefs, and it is on to the AFC Championship Game against England.

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OK, let's stay in Texas now, where after two decades of futility, the Dallas Cowboys are back on top of the NFL. And commentator Frank Deford says, love them or hate them, this is a good thing.

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Voters in seven more states said "yes" to marijuana this month. Pot now is legal for recreational or medicinal use in more than half the country.

It's still against federal law and classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning U.S. officials consider marijuana to have a high risk of abuse or harm, and no accepted medical use in treatment. Also, it's still banned in professional sports.

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ATLANTA FALCONS

The NFL pre-season began last week for all 32 teams, including the Atlanta Falcons. The Dirty Birds are hoping to shake off last year’s mediocre 8-8 season. The Falcons will head across the street to Mercedes-Benz stadium after this season, will their last year in the Georgia Dome be a memorable one?

We ask GPB sports correspondent Jon Nelson what he thinks of the Falcon’s chances this year and their prospects for the future. 

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