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DeMaurice Smith: Anthem rule is about exerting control over players

NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith says the league’s owners are less interested in showing respect for America than in showing they can control their employees with the new rule requiring players who are on the field for the national anthem to stand.

It smacks as more of a desire to exert control rather than a desire to stand up and support the rights and freedoms that our country was founded on, Smith said in an appearance on ESPN.

Smith also noted that some owners, including 49ers owner Jed York, Raiders owner Mark Davis and Jets owner Christopher Johnson, have made statements suggesting they don’t support the new rule. And he also said he wants to support the free speech of a player like Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a military veteran who defied coach Mike Tomlin last year by standing and saluting during the anthem while Tomlin kept the rest of the team in the locker room.

Williams, entering his fourth season, no longer has to defer to Wilkerson, and McCown has proven himself to be a pro’s pro worthy of respect even with Sam Darnold in the quarterback room. They are players who can offer leadership and create the kind of unity that wins games after the national anthem is played.

Kirk had 234 catches for 2,856 yards and 26 touchdowns in three years at Texas A&M. He also returned six punts and a kickoff for touchdowns, so he could vie for playing time on multiple fronts during his rookie season.

Herndon was taken to the State Police barracks in Netcong where he was given a Breathalyzer test, which showed is blood alcohol level was above the legal limit, the spokesman said.

The Jets drafted Herndon in the fourth round of this year’s NFL draft out of the University of Miami. He has a chance to get significant playing time since the Jets are thin at tight end.

We are aware of the situation and have no further comment at this time, a Jets spokesman said.

The Miami Herald quoted a source who said Elliott was transporting a railroad car. The source also told the newspaper that Elliott sustained a bruised and gashed arm. The police said only minor injuries were reported at the scene.

Herndon has been participating in the Jets OTA practices, but it was unknown if he practiced Monday.

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