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Football

    The NFL Players Association announced Tuesday that it has filed a grievance against the league’s national anthem policy, which was put in place in May. NFL owners approved the policy May 23. Under it, individual teams will have the ability to fine players and other personnel who do not stand and “show respect for the flag and the Anthem.” >> Read more trending news  At the time of the policy’s approval, the NFLPA issued a statement against it, saying the owners did not consult the union. “NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about,” the union said in a statement. “The vote by NFL club CEOs (May 23) contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principals, values and patriotism of our League. “Our union will review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.” Related: NFL owners approve new national anthem policy, will fine teams that allow players to kneel In the NFLPA’s announcement Tuesday, the union said the policy infringes on players’ rights: “Our union filed its non-injury grievance today on behalf of all players challenging the NFL’s recently imposed anthem policy. The union’s claim is that this new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights. “In advance of our filing today, we proposed to the NFL to begin confidential discussions with the NFLPA Executive Committee to find a solution to this issue instead of immediately proceeding with litigation. The NFL has agreed to proceed with those discussions and we look forward to starting them soon.”
  • Johnny Manziel is taking his football career north of the border. >> Read more trending news  The former Texas A&M star quarterback who had two disappointing seasons with the Cleveland Browns marred by off-the-field antics has signed a two-year-deal with the Canadian Football League. Manziel will play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the league announced Saturday. Manziel confirmed his decision on Twitter. 'I believe this is the best opportunity for me moving forward and I’m eager for what the future holds,' Manziel wrote. Manziel last played professional football in 2015. He has a 74.4 career quarterback rating in the NFL. Manziel has been working on a comeback since being released by the Browns in 2016. Known for his excessive partying off the field, Manziel says he is now sober and has been receiving treatment for bipolar disorder. 
  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke out for the first time Friday in the wake of his team’s Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. >> Read more trending news The Eagles defeated the Patriots in Minneapolis on Sunday, 41-33. 'It has taken me a few days to reflect on our SB loss as well as the great season our team had,” he wrote in an Instagram post. 'There are many emotions when you come up short on your goal. And they are all part of learning and growing in this journey of life.' >> Related: Gisele Bündchen comforts Tom Brady, children after Super Bowl loss  He went on to express his gratitude to the organization, his teammates, the Eagles and the fans. To read the whole post, click here. >> Related: Tom Brady's ex ‘Blue Bloods’ star Bridget Moynahan responds to Super Bowl loss
  • A North Carolina woman has won a prize that would be any football fan's dream. As winner of Bud Light's Super Bowl Tickets for Life sweepstakes, Amy Stronger of Gastonia will receive four tickets to every Super Bowl game for the next 30 years, WSOC reported. >> Read more trending news  The benefits start next weekend with an all-expenses-paid, four-day trip to Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis. According to the press release, Stronger is a Saints fan and a graduate of UNC-Charlotte.
  • A Massachusetts bakery is busy designing a sweet treat to share with fans Monday at the Patriots Super Bowl send-off.  Montilio's Baking Company is working on a 16-foot cake that will be delivered by truck to Gillette Stadium, Boston25News reported. >> Read more trending news  And the bakery has also found another way to show off its Pats pride before the big game. 'We've just banned all the Philadelphia cream cheese ... and any cream cheese products that come from there or have the name on it,' bakery owner George Montilio said. Montilio's isn't the only one banning certain products before next Sunday. Dottie's Donuts in Philadelphia announced it won't sell any “New England themed” menu items until after the Super Bowl. A museum in Philadelphia has temporarily renamed its Patriots Gallery. And the Esplanade has banned all things Philly - including cream cheese, cheesesteaks, Sylvester Stallone and bald eagles. The owner of Montilio's says he loves a friendly rivalry, and knows customers and fans feel the same way, Boston25News reported. If you want to see what the bakers are working on - you'll have to head out to the Super Bowl send-off Monday morning.  MORE: Where are the stars of Super Bowl XXXIX now? 
  • Vince McMahon is bringing back the XFL. In a highly touted announcement made at 3 p.m., the WWE founder and chairman announced the new professional football league, the first incarnation of which was announced in 1999, is returning. >> Read more trending news   Coming in 2020, McMahon says the league will be “football reimagined” and have a championship game. McMahon said the game will be faster-paced than NFL football. Teams will be in eight cities, which will be announced in the coming months, according to ESPN. Team names will follow the cities announcement.  Before the announcement, CBS Sports reported that McMahon would be announcing the 2020 return of the defunct league. The original XFL, which McMahon co-owned with NBC, only lasted one season in 2001. Related: WWE’s Vince McMahon to make ‘major sports announcement’ ESPN reported that Alpha Entertainment, a company formed by McMahon, filed trademarks for the name XFL. The company was founded to make investments that include pro football. “I wanted to do this since the day we stopped the other one,” McMahon told ESPN. “A chance to do it with no partners, strictly funded by me, which would allow me to look in the mirror and say, ‘You were the one who screwed this up,’ or ‘You made this thing a success.’” McMahon will be the only owner of all the league’s teams, and said players will not be able to make political statements while on the field. “People don’t want social and political issues coming into play when they are trying to be entertained,” McMahon said. “We want someone who wants to take a knee to do their version of that on their personal time. “I can say, ‘Here are the rules, and as long as you are playing football in the stadium for us, you follow these rules.’” During the news conference Thursday, McMahon said “it would be appropriate” for players to stand during the national anthem. He also said players with criminal records would not be able to play in the league. Salaries have not been determined, but winning players will make more money. Rosters will have 40 players. The regular season will have 10 games and a postseason with to semifinals. McMahon said the XFL will listen to sports experts and fans when it comes to nicknames on the back of jerseys and other gimmicks. The original league gained attention from nicknames like “He Hate Me” on Rod Smart’s Las Vegas Outlaws jersey. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN the league would not comment on the XFL. “We aren’t going to have much of what the (original) XFL had, including the cheerleaders, who aren’t really part of the game anymore,” McMahon said. “The audience wants entertainment with football, and that’s what we are going to give them.” More information on the XFL can be found at XFL.com. 
  • Vince McMahon, the chairman and CEO of the WWE, is making what officials with the wrestling organization are calling a “major sports announcement” Thursday at 3 p.m. >> Read more trending news McMahon is expected to make the announcement under the banner of his new enterprise, Alpha Entertainment, WWE officials announced on the group’s website. >> Related: WWE's Vince McMahon to give football another shot, may bring back XFL  ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported that McMahon plans to announce that he will make another attempt at starting a professional football league. Adam Silverstein, of CBSSports.com, reported that the league will be called the XFL and is not expected to start play until 2020. This will be McMahon’s second attempt at pro football.  The original version of XFL’s only season took place in 2001, when it debuted to big ratings that steadily declined.  Word of a potential return of the XFL was first reported in December.
  • Former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Warren Moon requested a leave of absence from his job as the team’s radio color commentator after he was accused Monday of sexual harassment in a lawsuit, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. >> Read more trending news Sports Illustrated reported the Seahawks accepted his leave of absence. The leave was requested after a lawsuit was filed in California by his former executive assistant, Wendy Haskell, accusing him of multiple instances of sexual harassment. Among other allegations, Haskell claimed Moon slipped a drug into her drink and pulled off her bathing suit top during a trip to Mexico, according to The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock. Haskell said she was demoted after complaining about Moon’s actions, according to USA Today. Haskell was hired in July by Sports 1 Marketing, a company Moon co-founded, to be Moon’s executive assistant, according to the Post. The job reportedly required her to travel with Moon for speaking engagements, charity events and personal appearances. It’s not the first time Moon has been accused of misconduct toward women. In 1996, he was acquitted on charges that he abused his now ex-wife Felicia, according to The New York Times. In 1995, he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit out of court with a then-Minnesota Vikings cheerleader, the Times reported. Moon has been the Seahawks’ radio color commentator for 13 seasons. He played for the Seahawks toward the end of his career in 1997 and 1998. The Seahawks finished with a 8-8 record both seasons, and Moon made his ninth and final Pro Bowl during the 1997 season. He signed with the Seahawks after three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. After a career that began with six seasons in the Canadian Football League, and finished with 17 seasons in the NFL, Moon was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He played collegiately in Seattle at the University of Washington. The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • The Falcons nest is about to get bigger. Sarah Ryan, wife of Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan, announced on Instagram Tuesday that the couple is expecting their first child – make that children. The couple is expecting twins, according to the post.  >> Read more trending news Sarah Ryan posted a picture of the couple with a No. 2 balloon to announce the arrivals.  “It’s been a long road, but Matt and I couldn’t be happier to announce that we are expecting twins! We are anxiously awaiting their arrival in April. There’s just something about the number 2 in our house, I guess,” she posted.  Matt Ryan, 32, also made the announcement on social media later in the day with the same photo. On Wednesday, the Falcons congratulated the couple on the news The footballer wears No. 2 for the Falcons. He was the team’s first-round draft pick, No. 3 overall, in 2008 and has been the starter since his arrival. He won the NFL MVP award last season in leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl. The couple, who both attended Boston College, married in 2011.
  • The Falcons nest is about to get bigger. Matt Ryan’s wife, Sarah, announced on social media Tuesday that the couple are expecting their first child – make that children. The wife of the Falcons quarterback wrote that the couple is expecting twins, according to the post. Sarah posted a picture of the couple with a No. 2 balloon to announce the arrivals in April. “I couldn’t be happier to announce that we are expecting twins! We are anxiously awaiting their arrival in April. There’s just something about the number 2 in our house, I guess,” Sarah posted. Ryan also made the announcement on social media later in the day. Ryan, 32, wears No. 2 for the Falcons. He was the team’s first-round draft pick, No. 3 overall, in 2008 and has been the starter since his arrival. He won the NFL MVP award last season in leading the Falcons to the Super Bowl. The couple, who both attended Boston College, married in 2011.