|Former NFL player Dexter Manley under fire after directing gay slur at Troy Aikman||10.29.13 at 10:32 am ET|
Former Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley is facing a lot of backlash after calling Hall of Famer Troy Aikman a gay slur while making an appearance on a Washington radio station.
In a appearance on WTOP Monday morning, Manley was asked if he believed the Redskins, who Manley played for from 1981-89, were jinxed in their 45-21 loss to the Broncos because Aikman was in the Fox broadcast booth for the game.
Manley responded immediately, stating, “I think Troy Aikman’s a queer.”
The WTOP hosts asked Manley to apologize on-air right away, which Manley did after initially hesitating.
In wake of Manley’s insensitive comments, WTOP announced that Manley will no longer be a regular guest on any broadcasts.
“This morning in a live interview former Redskins player Dexter Manley made an offensive and derogatory comment,” WTOP vice president of news Jim Farley said Monday. ”He was immediately challenged by WTOP news anchors Mike Moss and Bruce Alan. We were shocked and stunned and we apologize to our listeners that this happened on WTOP. WTOP has contacted a representative for Manley and informed her that he will not be returning.”
This is just the latest disappointing chapter in Manley’s rough life. The Pro Bowler was forced to retire from the game in 1991 after failing a fourth drug test when he tested positive for cocaine. In 1995, Manley was arrested for possession of crack cocaine and served two years in prison.
Here is a link to the audio from Manley’s interview.
|NFL announces matchups for three London games in 2014||10.24.13 at 12:37 pm ET|
Six NFL teams will be making the trip across the pond in 2014, as the league announced Thursday which teams will be playing in the annual London-based games.
The 2014 NFL season will mark the first time three games will be played in London. The three matches are set to take place at Wembley Stadium.
The Jaguars will host the Cowboys, the Lions will face the Falcons and the Dolphins will play the Raiders. The dates and times have yet to be announced.
“Our fans in the U.K. continue to demonstrate their passion for more football,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Next year for the first time we will play three regular-season games in London. We have scheduled three attractive games with four team playing in their first International Series game. The growing enthusiasm for the NFL internationally is exciting and we look forward to continuing to respond to this interest in our game.”
The Jaguars will have experience playing in Wembley by 2014, as they are set to take on the 49ers there this Sunday. Jacksonville will serve as the home team in London games for the next four years.
The Dolphins previously played at Wembley during the 2007 season, as they lost to the Giants, 13-10.The Falcons, Raiders, Cowboys and Lions have never played in London.
|Washington DB Brandon Meriweather suspended 2 games for illegal hits||10.22.13 at 9:11 am ET|
Former Patriots and current Washington safety Brandon Meriweather was suspended two games without pay for repeatedly violating the NFL’s rules regarding illegal hits to the head and neck of “defenseless players.”
The NFL made the decision to suspend the two-time Pro Bowler on Monday after Meriweather delivered two illegal hits during Washington’s game against the Bears on Sunday.
Chicago wideout Brandon Marshall, who was on the receiving end of one of Meriweather’s hits, said after the game that players like Meriweather should not be in the league.
“Guys like that really don’t understand that there is life after football,” Marshall said.
Meriweather is set to be reinstated on Nov. 4. He will miss Washington’s games against the Broncos and the Chargers. The suspension is set to cost Meriweather $141,176 in game checks.
“I feel like every hit that I took was a legit hit,” Meriweather said. ”I wasn’t trying to be dirty. I wasn’t trying to hurt nobody. I didn’t launch with my head. I used my shoulder like they told me to do. Everything I did was a pointer from them [league officials]. … You’ve just got to play. There ain’t nothing I can do about it. I just go out there and play.”
This is not the first time Meriweather has faced punishment from the NFL, as he was fined $42,000 earlier this season for delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit to Packers running back Eddie Lacy in Week 2.
|NFL roundup: Sean Taylor murder trial finally set to begin||10.15.13 at 1:57 pm ET|
Almost six years after Redskins Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor was shot in killed in his Miami-area home, the trial of his accused murderer, 23-year-old Eric Rivera, is ready to begin, as jury selections are set to start up on Tuesday.
Three other men, Charles Wardlow, 24, Jason Scott Mitchell, 25, and Timothy Brown, 22, are all awaiting trial in connection to the case. Rivera is accused of being the one who pulled the trigger, striking Taylor in the upper leg, causing massive blood loss that eventually led to his death one day later at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
Another man, 25-year-old Venjah Hunte, already has pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and armed burglary and may testify against the others during the trial.
The five men involved in the case, thinking that the 24-year old Taylor was with the Redskins for an away game against the Buccaneers, allegedly planned on breaking into Taylor’s house on Nov. 26, 2007.
However, Taylor was at home that night, as he did not travel with the team and was resting a knee injury that he suffered earlier that season. Taylor confronted the suspects with a machete and was subsequently shot.
While it has taken quite some time for the trial to get underway, Taylor’s family, through lawyer Richard Sharpstein, said that they are ready for some closure at last.
“It is sometimes said that justice delayed is justice denied,” Sharpstein said. “But in this case, it’s better late than never and justice will be delivered. The Taylor family has full confidence in Judge Murphy and the prosecution team.”
Taylor, the fifth overall pick of the 2004 NFL draft out of the University of Miami, was well on his way to becoming one of the most dominant defensive players in the league at the time of his death. Known for his ferocious hits, Taylor was posthumously elected to his second Pro Bowl at the end of the 2007 season, becoming the first deceased player in NFL history to be awarded a spot on a Pro Bowl roster.
• Just a week after losing linebacker Clay Matthews for at least three games with a broken thumb, the Packers will have to deal with the loss of another key player, as wide receiver Randall Cobb sustained a knee injury during Sunday’s game against the Ravens and is expected to miss “multiple weeks”, according to Packers coach Mike McCarthy.
Cobb was hit in the knee by Ravens safety Matt Elam with 22 seconds remaining in the first half, forcing the 23-year-old wideout to be taken off the field on a cart. Cobb would return to the sidelines later in the game, but was using crutches.
|New book alleges NFL tried to disprove link between football, brain damage||10.03.13 at 6:32 pm ET|
A new book written by ESPN investigative reporters allege that the NFL waged a campaign for over two decades intent on refuting evidence and research that proved that there was a connection between playing football and brain damage.
The book, titled “League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth,” states that the NFL used its influence and resources to both tarnish scientists and their reports regarding the link between football and head injuries and utilized a public relations strategy to keep fans unaware of the danger relating to the sport.
The book makes a point to compare the era of the NFL covering up the dangers of football to the era of Big Tobacco, when cigarette companies hid the health risks of smoking to consumers. It also claims that the NFL’s “whitewash” of the risks associated with football continued during the tenure of current NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Other findings that were discovered by the book’s authors include the NFL ignoring a warning from some of the top neuroscientists in the world that football led to depression and memory loss all the way back in 2000, as well as the league attempting to force medical journals to retract their findings on brain damage in football back in 2005.
Despite the book’s controversial and shocking findings, some NFL players, such as former Jets defensive lineman Marty Lyons, believe that it’s the players own choice to play such a dangerous sport.
“I’m not going to accuse the league,” Lyons said. “Players had to be more responsible for their own actions. I’m not saying the league didn’t know, I’m not saying the players didn’t know. It was part of the game.”
The book , which was co-authored by brothers Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, will be released on Oct. 8.
|NFL roundup: Raiders’ Terrelle Pryor suffers concussion; Bengals’ Pacman Jones in trouble again; Lions’ Nate Burleson injured in car accident||09.24.13 at 12:03 pm ET|
Despite the Raiders’ 37-21 loss to the Broncos on Monday night, Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor was impressive, as he completed 19-of-28 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown while running for 36 yards on four rushes.
However, Pryor was unable to finish the game, as he was sandwiched by two Denver defenders in the fourth quarter and left the game with a head injury. After the game, it was announced that testing revealed that Pryor had indeed suffered a concussion.
It’s uncertain if Pryor will be ready for the Raiders’ next game on Sunday afternoon against Washington.
If Pryor is unable to play, Matt Flynn is expected to step in at quarterback.
Also in Monday’s game, Peyton Manning turned in another dominant performance, as the 37-year-old quarterback completed 32-of-37 passes for 374 yards and three touchdowns.
It’s been a historic start to the season for Manning, as his 12 touchdowns in the Broncos’ first three games has set an NFL record. Tom Brady, who set the NFL record with 50 touchdowns during the 2007 season, held the previous record with 11 touchdowns in the Patriots’ first three games that year.
• Despite losing a part of his middle finger in Sunday’s game against the Saints, Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson said that he may suit up for his team’s next game Sunday against Tampa Bay.
“I’m just going to take it day to day, see how everything heals up and how it feels,” Johnson said. “I’m going to approach [this week] just like any other game week. I’m going to go in, watch my film, make sure I know everything that’s in the game plan, and when the time comes around and the decision needs to be made, it’ll be in coach [Bruce] Arians‘ hands.”
|Colts safety Joe Lefeged released without bond after gun charge||07.02.13 at 1:30 pm ET|
Colts safety Joe Lefeged — who was arrested Saturday after police found a semi-automatic pistol and an open bottle containing vodka in a car he was riding in — was released on personal recognizance Tuesday after a hearing in Washington, D.C., on a gun possession charge.
Lefeged’s car had been pulled over for speeding, and police say they also smelled marijuana in the car in addition to the gun and open bottle of vodka. Lefeged and another passenger were caught after trying to speed away from officers after they had been pulled over.
Police say the gun in the car was loaded and there was evidence of drug use, which made prosecutors want to keep Lefeged in jail.
Lefeged, who is from Montgomery County, Md., signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers in 2011. The 25-year-old has 28 tackles and two interceptions in two NFL seasons.
|Brian Urlacher retires after 13-year NFL career||05.22.13 at 12:37 pm ET|
Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher announced his retirement Wednesday, ending a 13-year NFL career.
“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher wrote. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear. I want to thank all of the people in my life that have helped me along the way. I will miss my teammates, my coaches, and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I have all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss this great game, but I leave it with no regrets.”
The eight-time Pro Bowler played his entire career in Chicago, and was the face of the organization for many years. He and the Bears were unable to reach an agreement on a contract this offseason and he became a free agent.
Urlacher recorded a franchise-record 1,779 tackles in 182 games between 2000 and 2012. He also had 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles in his career.
The ninth overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft was the 2000 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, the 2005 AP Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-Pro four times. He helped lead the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2007.
|NFL draft to move to May in 2014||at 12:10 pm ET|
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed at the NFL spring meetings in Boston on Tuesday that the NFL draft will be moved to May in 2014 due to a scheduling conflict.
Radio City Music Hall, the home for the draft, will be hosting an Easter show in April, which led to the need for the switch. Goodell emphasized that the league is happy with its experiences with Radio City Music Hall.
“We think we have found a location in New York that meets our requirements and where we think we can continue to grow the event,” he said.
Goodell said he expects the draft to remain in May and that adjustments to the NFL’s calendar will be discussed with the players’ union. There could also be adjustments made to the dates for the NFL combine and the start of free agency.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the changes being discussed would have the league year starting before the combine beginning in 2015. The NFLPA is looking to give free agents a chance to find new teams sooner with the change.
While Goodell can set the date of the draft without the NFLPA’s approval, he said he wanted to be sure that the union signed off on any changes to the league schedule or the draft to maintain league harmony.
|Longtime NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall dies at 82||04.17.13 at 11:27 am ET|
Former NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall, John Madden‘s longtime play-by-play partner in the booth, died Tuesday at age 82 of cardiac arrest.
Summerall, whose understated style meshed well with Madden’s famous enthusiasm, called 16 Super Bowls, including the Patriots’ victory over the Rams in 2002.
“It’s right down the pipe. Adam Vinatieri. No time on the clock. And the Patriots have won Super Bowl XXXVI. Unbelievable,” Summerall said that night in his final call beside Madden. He worked one more full season after that, then scaled back, only calling the occasional game after the 2002 season.
Summerall’s NFL career lasted 10 seasons, from 1952 to 1961, with the Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants. He was better known in his second career as a commentator, though, becoming famous for his deep voice and his calm, restrained style of commentary.
Broadcasters and other members of the football community remembered him fondly, including Madden.
“He always had a joke,” Madden said. “Pat never complained and we never had an unhappy moment. He was something very special.”
“Pat Summerall was one of the best friends and greatest contributors that the NFL has known,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “His majestic voice was treasured by millions of NFL fans for more than four decades. It is a sad day in the NFL.”
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