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The Bengals Have Invested in Joe Burrow—Now, Will They Invest in the Franchise Around Him? – Sports Illustrated

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Will the Bengals build the kind of team, and become the kind of franchise, worthy of their new quarterback?

Sixteen years after taking Carson Palmer with the No. 1 pick, the Bengals are back atop the draft hoping to find the long-term answer—this time in LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

Despite early rumblings that Burrow would stage a coup similar to that of Eli Manning, despite reported attempts from other clubs to move up to the No. 1 spot to snag the pick, despite the fact that the team bottomed out under first year head coach Zac Taylor in 2019, the Bengals opted to set a new course for their franchise by selecting the Heisman Trophy winner.

Leading up to this year’s virtual draft and the potentially condensed season to follow, there brewed an idea that taking a quarterback would be a fool’s errand. Coaches will not have the same hands-on time. There is a good chance that rookie minicamps will be virtual, or nonexistent altogether. A pivotal acclimation period between a player and the new teammates he’s supposed to corral will be short and manufactured at best.

But the bigger question for the Bengals is whether they will continue to operate like the Bengals of old. In support of Taylor, the team finally found themselves in whiffing distance of free agency’s top spenders, doling out more than $130 million in contracts—the third-most behind only the Dolphins and Lions. While spending in free agency doesn’t typically signal a healthy roster, it is an indication that the franchise is willing to create a viable foundation, something that the Bengals have been accused of not doing in the past.

When it became clear that Burrow had elevated to the top of the 2020 quarterback class, Palmer spoke out on a radio appearance, warning anyone who would listen that he felt like the team was simply treading water. The difference, he said, between the Bengals and Cardinals was stark.

So it goes for the Bengals, who may interpret tonight as the greatest indication that they have to change before the results do. It took a Sisyphean effort over the course of nearly two decades by Marvin Lewis to overhaul the roster and identify some foundational pieces, but even then the organization was not able to secure a playoff victory. Over the past few seasons, as NFL teams have begun to utilize new analytics and technology to push their franchises forward, Cincinnati is often regarded as one of the slowest to adapt and invest in the future.

In comes Burrow, whose circuitous route to the top pick in the NFL Draft has contributed to his unique combination of poise and humility. Like Baker Mayfield in Cleveland, Burrow represents a breath of fresh air for a woebegone Ohio-based franchise in search of identifiable star power both on and off the field. In recent months, he’s broken down the perceived thaw between himself and the organization and seems ready to embrace the massive lift ahead.

Will the Bengals respond in kind by treating Burrow unlike any franchise quarterback they’ve had before?

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Trump: Brees 'should not have taken back his original stance' on flag – theScore

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United States President Donald Trump weighed in Friday on the controversy sparked by Drew Brees‘ comments about players potentially kneeling during the national anthem.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback said on Wednesday he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag” by protesting during the anthem. Brees’ statement drew the ire of players across the league, including several of his teammates, who reiterated that the protests are against police brutality and racial injustice, not the American flag.

Following the backlash, Brees apologized twice on Thursday.

The president tweeted Friday that Brees “should not have taken back his original stance.”

Trump was vehemently against players kneeling during the national anthem when protests took place in the NFL back in 2016.

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Jordan giving $100 million for racial equality, justice – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand are giving $100 million to organizations dedicated to promoting racial equality and social justice.

In a joint statement Friday on social media, Jordan and the Jordan Brand said money will be paid over 10 years with the goal of “ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.”

“Black lives matter,” the statement said. “This isn’t a controversial statement. Until the ingrained racism that allows our country’s institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of black people.”

Jordan, the 57-year-old former Chicago Bulls great, is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets. The Jordan Brand is a subsidiary of Nike, the shoe giant that earlier Friday committed $40 million over the next four years to support the black community.

Jordan also released a statement Monday on George Floyd and the killings of black people at the hands of police.

“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” Jordan said. “I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of colour in our country. We have had enough.”

Floyd was in handcuffs when a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck as he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. Derek Chauvin is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

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NFL’s Roger Goodell says ‘we were wrong,’ encourages players to protest – Sportsnet.ca

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league was wrong for not listening to players and is encouraging them to speak out and peacefully protest amid demonstrations across the U.S. over systemic racism in response to the death of George Floyd.

In a video posted to social media Friday, the NFL appears to be trying to make amends for the league’s handling of kneeling protests during the national anthem, led by Colin Kaepernick.

“We the National Football League condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black people. We the National Football League admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We the National Football League believe Black lives matter,” Goodell said in the video.

The league also shared a video put out Thursday night in which more than 15 NFL stars said they were asserting their right to peacefully protest and asked the NFL to “admit wrong” in silencing its players.

The league appeared to be responding to its players’ request with Friday’s video.

“I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country. Without Black players, there would be no National Football League and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of Black players coaches, fans and staff,” Goodell said.

“We are listening, I am listening and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”

Kaepernick sparked a wave of demonstrations across the league in 2016 after he kneeled during the national anthem to call attention to police brutality and racial inequality. Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since that season and settled a collusion case with the league last year, saying he was blacklisted because of the protests.

The NFL initially released a statement five days after Floyd’s death that did not mention player protests or racism.

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