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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Theo Epstein agrees to 5-year extension to remain Cubs president 09.29.16 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Indians at Tigers, 1:10 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Reds at Cardinals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rockies at Giants, 11 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL: Dolphins at Bengals, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: Hampton at North Carolina A&T, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: UConn at Houston, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Kansas at Texas Tech, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Canada vs. Europe, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Europa League, FSV Mainz at Gabala, 11 a.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Europa League, Internazionale Milano at Sparta Praha, 1 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Europa League, Red Bull Salzburg at Schalke 04, 1 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Europa League, Astra Giurgiu at AS Roma, 3 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Europa League, Zorya Luhansk at Manchester United, 3 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Theo Epstein apparently is finding it a lot easier to work for management in Chicago.

The Cubs announced Wednesday that the former Red Sox general manager agreed to a five-year extension to continue as president of baseball operations of the long-suffering franchise. Epstein, who was GM when the Red Sox ended their 86-year championship drought in 2004, has turned the Cubs into 100-game winners for the first time since 1935 as they pursue their first World Series title since 1908.

“In the five years under Theo’s leadership, he has brought in a strong executive team and acquired and developed some of the best players in the game,” Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said. “Now, the results are on the field.”

General manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod — also former Red Sox employees — will receive extensions as well, Ricketts said.

Rickets explained that he and Epstein first discussed an extension over dinners in early March, although the deal was not finalized until this week.

“We sat down at spring training, had a nice dinner, talked about getting an extension done,” Ricketts said. “Basically, I told him I thought he was the best in the game at what he did. He told me no matter what I paid him he wasn’t going to leave Chicago, so we were off to a good start. We checked back in on it a couple times during the summer. There was no real time pressure.”

— Marlins players walked alongside as a hearse carried the body of Jose Fernandez, the pitcher who died over the weekend in a boating accident in Miami.

During the Wednesday procession, the players and coaches wore T-shirts featuring Fernandez’s image and the letters “RIP.” Crowds along the route chanted “Jose! Jose!” while some waved Cuban flags in honor of the 24-year-old Cuban-American.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jose Fernandez’s teammates discouraged him from taking boat ride 09.28.16 at 8:09 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN2; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mariners at Astros, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Canada vs. Europe, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Champions League, Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Monaco, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Champions League, Real Madrid at Borussia Dortmund, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Champions League, Tottenham at CSKA Moscow, 2:30 p.m. (FS2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— More details are emerging about Jose Fernandez’s fatal boat trip in Miami over the weekend, and apparently some of his teammates warned the pitcher not to go.

Center fielder Marcell Ozuna said he and a couple of teammates were invited to join Fernandez but declined the offer, and they tried to discourage the 24-year-old from going on the midnight ride.

“It was a bad decision for him,” Ozuna told reporters. “He heard everybody say, ‘No, go back to your house and take it easy.’ Then you wake up and see the news.”

Also killed in the accident were 27-year-old Emilio Jesus Macias and 25-year-old Eduardo Rivero. A friend of Rivero’s posted on social media texts he exchanged just before the boat left the dock.

Will Bernal texted his friend to be careful and “keep Jose cool.” Rivero texted: Trust me, it’s not my time yet.

The Marlins announced that a funeral procession will start at 2:16 p.m. Wednesday at their ballpark, followed by a public viewing at a Miami church.

— Meanwhile, in St. Louis on Tuesday night, Cardinals Aledmys Diaz, Fernandez’s childhood friend, returned from spending time with Fernandez’s family and hit his first career grand slam.

Diaz had attended a private ceremony for Fernandez on Monday in Florida, where he made a promise to Fernandez’s family.

“I told them that every single time I put on the uniform, I would be thinking of him,” Diaz said. “And that I would give 100 percent because that’s how he played the game.”

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Emotional Marlins pay tribute to Jose Fernandez in win over Mets 09.27.16 at 8:13 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mariners at Astros, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Canada vs. Europe, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Champions League, Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Monaco, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Champions League, Real Madrid at Borussia Dortmund, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Champions League, Tottenham at CSKA Moscow, 2:30 p.m. (FS2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Marlins held a pregame ceremony Monday night to honor Jose Fernandez, the 24-year-old pitcher who died in a boating accident early Sunday morning. The players all wore jerseys with the number 16 and “Fernandez” written on the back as they played the Mets on a night when Fernandez had been schedule to pitch.

Things really got emotional when Marlins leadoff batter Dee Gordon took his first pitch batting from the right side while wearing Fernandez’s helmet, as a tribute to his late friend. He then switched helmets and switched to the left batter’s box — and proceeded to hit his first home run of the season. Gordon started crying as he rounded the bases. He tapped his chest and looked skyward after crossing home plate, and he was greeted in the dugout by his equally emotional teammates.

Gordon, who called it the most difficult game he’s every played, said he didn’t even remember circling the bases.

“It seemed like it took forever,” he said. “I was trying to get back to my teammates as fast as possible. I was just wondering why Jose wasn’t there standing on the top step cheering for me.”

Teammate Giancarlo Stanton said he had trouble seeing the ball during his plate appearances.

“We were hitting balls underwater pretty much,” Stanton said after Miami’s 7-3 victory. “Our eyes were full of water.”

Stanton gave a speech to his teammates just before the start of the game, but he said he can’t remember the content.

“Honestly I went kind of numb in that moment,” Stanton said. “I don’t know if I was stuttering. I don’t even know if I was saying the right stuff. A lot of us were talking about ‘Why are we here right now? What’s the main purpose of this? How do we get through this together?’ I was trying to ease all that, telling them we’re all here for Jose. We’re the last hope and the last heart for him, and we need to come together, as hard as it’s going to be.”

Mets players joined the Marlins for hugs after the national anthem, which was preceded by a slow version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” played by trumpet.

“Hearts are heavy,” Mets outfielder Jay Bruce said. “From a professional standpoint, you just try to prepare and play the game and respect the game. But I can’t even imagine what it’s like over in that other clubhouse.”

— Former Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy remains a free agent, and Monday’s arrest for possession of cocaine won’t help his bid to return to the NFL.

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Read More: Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Hardy, Jose Fernandez
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Tributes pour in following death of golf legend Arnold Palmer 09.26.16 at 8:10 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Falcons at Saints, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Yankees at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Premier League, Watford at Burnley, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The sports world, already mourning the tragic death of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez on Sunday morning, took another blow when it was announced that golf legend Arnold Palmer passed away Sunday afternoon at the age of 87.

Arnold Palmer Enterprises CEO Alastair Johnston said Palmer was admitted to a Pittsburgh hospital on Thursday for some cardiovascular work and died Sunday afternoon of complications from heart problems.

A 62-time PGA Tour winner, including seven majors, “The King” continued to rank among the highest earners in golf until his death due to his endorsement deals.

“It is not an exaggeration to say there would be no modern-day PGA Tour without Arnold Palmer. There would be no PGA Tour Champions without Arnold Palmer. There would be no Golf Channel without Arnold Palmer,” PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement.

“No one has had a greater impact on those who play our great sport or who are touched by it. It has been said many times over in so many ways, but beyond his immense talent, Arnold transcended our sport with an extraordinarily appealing personality and genuineness that connected with millions, truly making him a champion of the people.”

President Barack Obama paid tribute Sunday, tweeting: Here’s to The King who was as extraordinary on the links as he was generous to others. Thanks for the memories, Arnold.

— When the Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick finally ended their contract dispute just before training camp, there was hope in New York that the Harvard product could repeat his performance of last season and make the Jets playoff contenders.

That does not appear to be the case.

Fitzpatrick had an especially rough day Sunday, throwing a career-high six interceptions and posting a passer rating of 18.2 as part of a miserable overall performance by the team in a 24-3 loss to the Chiefs.

“Went out there and didn’t play well today, obviously that’s an understatement,” Fitzpatrick told reporters afterward.

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Read More: Arnold Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Vikings-Panthers game still on despite violent protests in North Carolina 09.23.16 at 8:16 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Yankees at Blue Jays 7:07 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Giants at Padres, 10:30 p.m. (MLB)
College football: Wyoming at Eastern Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: TCU at SMU, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: USC at Utah, 9 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Bundesliga, SC Freiburg at Borussia Dortmund, 2:20 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Sunday’s game in Charlotte, North Carolina, between the Panthers and Vikings remains on as scheduled, despite a state of emergency in the city due to protests over a police shooting earlier in the week.

Panthers president Danny Morrison said in a statement that the team has been in contact with local authorities and the league, noting: “We are continuing to monitor events as we prepare for Sunday’s home game.”

Players interviewed Thursday showed support for playing the contest despite the violence that has gripped the city.

“If you take this game away I think it is going to just continue to add to the stress and add to what is already going on in a negative way,” Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis said.

However, there was concern among players.

“My wife usually takes the kids uptown and they tailgate with family and friends, but we said maybe this week we should just come to the game, park in our lot and go up to your seats and get settled in,” Panthers tight end Greg Olsen said. “Is it worth moseying around in a town that is in such a heightened state of chaos?”

Panthers safety Tre Boston said he is considering joining Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, but he plans to do more research before coming to a decision.

“You have to find a way you are not disrespecting people and that everybody understands where we are coming from, but at the same time you want to get your message across,” Boston said. “And sometimes it can feel disrespectful when you send your message across and somebody doesn’t believe in it. We’ll see.”

— Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger apologized Thursday after sending out tweets critical of protesters in Charlotte and President Barack Obama, including one that read, “Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals.”

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Timberwolves reportedly working on buyout of Kevin Garnett 09.22.16 at 8:17 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Texans at Patriots, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network)
MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Rays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Padres, 11 p.m. (MLB Network)
College football: Clemson at Georgia Tech, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, United States vs. Czech Republic, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Finland vs. Russia, 3 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

— Kevin Garnett’s second stint with Minnesota appears headed for an end, as reports emerged Wednesday that the Timberwolves are working on a buyout of the former Celtic’s contract if he does not retire.

With training camp set to open Tuesday, the 40-year-old Garnett reportedly has yet to inform the team if he plans to return for a record 22nd NBA season — 13 1/2 of which he has spent with Minnesota. He is under contract for $8 million this season.

Garnett, who was sent from the Nets to the T-Wolves late in the 2014-15 season, was limited to 38 games last season due to knee and leg issues. Although he only averaged 3.2 points and 3.9 rebounds, he still provided solid defense and has been lauded for his leadership role on the young team.

Garnett has expressed an interested in eventually becoming an owner of the team. He apparently was going to partner with former coach Flip Saunders, but Saunders died a year ago after a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Tom Thibodeau, who was an assistant coach for the Celtics when Garnett led the team to the 2007 NBA title, is about to begin his first season as T-Wolves coach.

— Colin Kaepernick might be the most disliked player in the NFL (at least according to a poll of 1,100 people conducted by E-Poll Marketing Research), but his protest continues to grow.

During the national anthem before Wednesday night’s WNBA playoff game in Indianapolis, the entire Indiana Fever team kneeled and locked arms. Two members of the visiting Phoenix Mercury also kneeled.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Following death threats, Colin Kaepernick says violence toward him ‘would move this movement forward’ 09.21.16 at 8:12 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Blue Jays at Mariners, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA playoffs: Mercury at Fever, 6 p.m. (ESPNews)
WNBA playoffs: Storm at Dream, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, North America vs. Sweden, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Europe vs. Canada, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Bundesliga, Augsburg at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 2 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Bundesliga, Hertha BSC Berlin at Bayern Munich, 2 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

— As the shooting of another unarmed black man by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, stirred up racial tensions across the country, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he has received death threats for his national anthem protests.

Kaepernick said he considered he possibility that he might be targeted when he decided to start kneeling during the anthem.

“To me, if something like that were going to happen, you’ve proved my point,” he told reporters Tuesday. “It would be loud and clear for everyone why it happened. That would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now. Granted, I don’t want that to happen. But that’s the realization of what could happen.”

Kaepernick said he heard racial slurs among the insults hurled his way prior to the 49ers’ game this past Sunday against the Panthers in Charlotte, North Carolina — where there were riots Tuesday night following a police shooting of a black man in that city.

“There’s a lot of racism in this country disguised as patriotism and people want to take everything back to the flag but that’s not what we’re talking about,” Kaepernick said. “We’re talking about racial discrimination, inequalities and injustices that happen across the nation.”

In Tulsa, officers responded to call about a stalled vehicle Friday night. Video of the incident shows Terence Crutcher — who police say was not cooperating with their requests — walking away from officers with his hands up, and he is tasered and fatally shot when he gets to his vehicle and puts his hands on the driver’s side.

“His car was broken down, he was looking for help and he got murdered,” Kaepernick said. “That’s a perfect example of what this is about. I think it will be very telling what happens with the officers that killed him because everybody’s eyes will be on this.”

Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis weighed in on the situation as well, tweeting: It’s time 4 all people 2 value all life! This is disgusting as a country -to let anybody get away with this. It must stop. #TerenceCrutcher

Lewis, who was indicted on double murder charges after the fatal stabbing of two men in January 2000 but eventually pleaded guilty to lesser charges, added: All deserve life, dignity. -We’re not going to sit back and watch these tragedies go on! We need real changes! #TerenceCrutcher

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Pete Carroll ‘disappointed’ after Seahawks fined, lose draft pick for OTA incident 09.20.16 at 7:59 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Rays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Dodgers, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Canada vs. United States, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Finland vs. Sweden, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund at VfL Wolfsburg, 2 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Bundesliga, Hamburg SV at Freiburg, 2 p.m. (FS2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Pete Carroll

Pete Carroll

— Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he was “disappointed” with the NFL’s decision to hand out fines and take away a 2017 fifth-round draft pick as punishment for allowing excessive contact during a non-contact organized team activity in early June.

The Seahawks, who also ran afoul of the rule in 2014, were fined $400,000 and will lose a week of OTAs — for which players still will be paid — in 2017. Carroll was fined an additional $200,000.

The league said Carroll was responsible for the practices and needs to intervene when “prohibited conduct occurs.”

“We’re trying to do this really well and trying to be great at it, and I was really disappointed it came to this. But they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do,” Carroll said. “We’re going to continue to work really hard to do this really well. We practice hard around here, we always have, and we have to do it right. We’ve made strong efforts to do that, but we’re still working at it.”

Carroll said in the incident in question, on June 6, two younger players collided while pursuing the ball during a drill, causing both to be injured.

“They both got banged in the head pretty good,” Carroll said.

The league and the NFL Players Association reviewed the practice video and agreed the team violated the contact rule.

— Tim Tebow began his stint with the Mets’ instructional league team, working out with the squad in Port St. Lucie, Florida, in front of hundreds of fans.

Wearing No. 15 (the same number he wore as a quarterback), Tebow displayed some power during batting practice but also showed that he has a long way to go.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Megan Rapinoe again kneels during anthem before USWNT game, despite objections from U.S. soccer 09.19.16 at 8:18 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Braves at Mets, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Diamondbacks at Padres, 10:10 p.m. (FS1)
NFL: Eagles at Bears, 8:300 p.m. (ESPN)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Europe vs. Czech Republic, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Russia vs. North America, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe

— U.S. women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe again knelt during the national anthem Sunday, despite implications that she might face punishment from U.S. Soccer.

Rapinoe, who started her protest while playing for the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League and continued it with the U.S. national team, heard a mixed reaction from some in the crowd before Sunday’s game against Thailand in Atlanta.

“Obviously there were boos tonight, boos and cheers tonight. I totally respect that,” Rapinoe said. “People feel a certain way, and I want to be respected for the way that I feel. I think that’s their right to do that. I totally understand that. That said, there’s some people that support me.”

Colin Kaepernick started the kneeling protest and continued it Sunday before the 49ers played the Panthers, but Rapinoe is the first to protest while representing her country.

Rapinoe said she met with her coach and a media relations representative from U.S. Soccer — which previously stated that it expects all players to stand during the anthem — and “talked through my process.”

“I want to keep everybody in the loop,” she said. “It’s sort of an ongoing thought process. What’s the best way to handle everything and, for me, what’s the best way moving forward? And then, obviously, it affects everyone, so I want to appreciate and make sure I’m keeping everyone in the loop and hearing their opinions and giving mine as well.”

The U.S. team next plays Oct. 19 in Utah, while the Reign close out the regular-season Sunday in Houston. Rapinoe implied that she plans to continue her protest during those games.

“I don’t know why [the end of the protest] has to be the most important thing in this,” Rapinoe said. “I think in a large way it’s ‘OK, you’ve knelt, you’ve made your point.’ But I don’t necessarily feel like that. I don’t know what that looks like. Do I kneel forever? I don’t know, probably not. But I think until I can feel like I’m being more effective in other ways, then this seems appropriate to me.”

— The Patriots aren’t the only AFC contender with injury problems. The defending Super Bowl champion Broncos lost a key player on their defense Sunday when linebacker DeMarcus Ware fracture his right forearm after colliding with teammate Von Miller during the second half of a 34-20 victory over the Colts.

Ware will visit a specialist Monday to determine if he needs surgery.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: U.S. Soccer disappointed after Megan Rapinoe protests anthem before USWNT game 09.16.16 at 7:57 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
College football: Rhode Island at Harvard, 7 p.m. (NESN Plus)
College football: Baylor at Rice, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Arkansas State at Utah State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Arizona State at Texas-San Antonio, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Bundesliga, Freiburg at Koln, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Premier League, Liverpool at Chelsea, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe

— Soccer player Megan Rapinoe continued her protest of the national anthem Thursday, but this time she became the first player to refuse to stand while representing the United States.

Rapinoe, who started her protests while playing for the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League, kneeled during the anthem prior to the U.S. women’s national team’s 9-0 rout of Thailand. It did not sit well with U.S. Soccer.

“Representing your country is a privilege and honor for any player or coach that is associated with U.S. Soccer’s National Teams. Therefore, our national anthem has particular significance for U.S. Soccer,” the governing body said in a statement released during the game. “In front of national and often global audiences, the playing of our national anthem is an opportunity for our Men’s and Women’s National Team players and coaches to reflect upon the liberties and freedom we all appreciate in this country. As part of the privilege to represent your country, we have an expectation that our players and coaches will stand and honor our flag while the national anthem is played.”

The 31-year-old has not started for the USNWT since tearing her ACL last December, and she remained on the sideline for the start of Thursday’s game. She entered at the start of the second half.

Afterward, Rapinoe defended her decision, saying she “would like to be involved in any way I can.”

“We need to look at all the things the flag and the anthem represent and all the things it means, and is it protecting everybody?” Rapinoe said. “There are people who don’t feel as protected as I do every day. I know it’s a time-honored tradition. Especially in a sports environment, it’s something the country is very passionate about, but there is a bigger conversation here that is more important than sports.”

The U.S. team next hosts the Netherlands on Sunday in Atlanta.

— The Raiders moved one step closer to relocating in Las Vegas, as the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee voted unanimously to recommend $750 million in public funding for a new stadium.

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