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NFL notebook: Jay-Z defends NFL deal, talks Kaepernick

Reuters | Updated: 15-08-2019 06:56 IST | Created: 15-08-2019 06:54 IST
NFL notebook: Jay-Z defends NFL deal, talks Kaepernick
Image Credit: Flickr

Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter defended the entertainment deal his company, Roc Nation, made with the NFL this week during a press conference with commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday in New York amid criticism that the deal contradicts Carter's support of Colin Kaepernick. Carter and Goodell were asked repeatedly about Kaepernick, who has gone unsigned since the end of the 2016 season after drawing national attention for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of social injustice.

Carter has publicly supported Kaepernick in the past, including wearing a teamless Kaepernick jersey during an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" in 2017. Asked if Roc Nation's partnership with the NFL goes against his support of Kaepernick, Carter said the partnership will actually further the quarterback's message. "We forget that Colin's whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice," Carter said. "In that case, this is a success. This is the next phase. There (are) two parts of protesting. You go outside and you protest, and then the company or the individual says, 'I hear you. What do we do next?'"

--A chef filed a lawsuit against Oakland Raiders wideout Antonio Brown earlier this summer, alleging the receiver did not pay a bill of $38,521.20 during the week of the 2018 Pro Bowl in Orlando, ESPN reported. Stefano Tedeschi told ESPN that Brown -- who was still with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the time -- rented a mansion and hired a chef to host nearly 50 fellow Pro Bowlers during the last week of January.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Osceola (Fla.) County on July 30, alleges Brown wrongfully terminated the agreement and did not allow Tedeschi to retrieve his equipment and food, per ESPN. Tedeschi told ESPN he paid employees and passed up other opportunities to work for Brown, and he wasn't given a reason for the lack of payment. He said Brown later offered to pay through social-media advertising. --Quarterback Baker Mayfield doesn't care if other clubs think the Cleveland Browns are being overhyped.

Mayfield insists that the Browns are worried about their locker room, not the noise coming from others. "You've got to believe in it and take it one week at a time," the 24-year-old Mayfield said in an interview with Complex Sports. "I think in the media and everything that comes with the hype around our team right now, people want to see us lose, just because the hype is so real. But we've got to go out there and take it one week at a time. We're trying to win every week."

--Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. missed joint practice against the Indianapolis Colts due to what ESPN reported is a hip pointer, but the injury is not serious. Head coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters Beckham should be back "pretty soon," with ESPN reporting the receiver could be back in team drills Thursday.

--New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell isn't worried about getting up to speed after sitting out all of last season in a contract dispute. He told reporters he doesn't believe preseason work is required for him to be ready for the season opener.

"I don't really necessarily need (preseason reps)," Bell said, per the New York Daily News. "If I get them, they'll help. But I don't think I'll need them. I think once we get out there ... football is football." --Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake wore a walking boot on his right foot and did not participate in a joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Drake told ESPN the injury was "nothing crazy." Head coach Brian Flores told the Miami Herald that Drake would be sidelined for a while, but he was hopeful about the back's availability for the season opener. Drake, 25, is entering his fourth season with the Dolphins, who picked him in the third round out of Alabama in the 2016 NFL Draft.

--The Atlanta Falcons claimed quarterback Danny Etling off waivers from the New England Patriots. Etling, whom the Patriots had tried moving to wide receiver, was waived on Tuesday. The Falcons need depth after losing quarterback Kurt Benkert to a toe injury earlier this month.

--The Los Angeles Chargers signed tight end Ben Johnson. Johnson, 25, spent time in training camp with the Chargers last season as an undrafted rookie from Kansas.


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