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Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton joins elite club with 59th homer

Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton joined an elite power-hitting club Thursday night, blasting his 58th and 59th homer in Miami’s 7-1 victory against Atlanta.

>> Read more trending news

Stanton, who has hit 33 homers since the All-Star break in July, joins Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Maris and Babe Ruth as the only major-leaguers to hit at least 59 home runs in a season.

Stanton’s 47 home runs while batting in the No. 2 slot set a major-league mark as he topped the 46 round-trippers hit by Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews in 1959, ESPN reported.

“It’s crazy to be in that company,” Stanton said . “It doesn’t sink in yet. It doesn’t make sense, really, yet. But it’s really cool. It’s everything I’ve worked for and it’s something really cool.”

Stanton hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, and then added a two-run shot in the eighth. It was his 10th multi-homer game of the season.

NFL national anthem singer quits job due to 'fans who attack players for protesting'

An Army veteran and member of the Maryland Army National Guard who was also the national anthem singer for the Baltimore Ravens announced Tuesday night that he is quitting his job because he feels he “do(es) not belong there,” The Baltimore Sun reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Joey Odoms posted on Instagram that he was resigning “as the Official National Anthem Singer of the Baltimore Ravens” because “the tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country’s cultural crisis, have convinced me that I do not belong there.”

Odoms said he didn’t feel welcomed because of “fans who attack players for protesting.”

>> Related: ‘Get off your knees’ widow of ‘American sniper’ Chris Kyle tells NFL players

“Fans who attack players for protesting -- a right in which I fought to defend -- but are simply not interested in understanding why, is the reason I am resigning,” he wrote. “Someone once told me to always ‘go where you’re welcomed.’ This is not an emotional reaction to recent events, rather an ethical decision that part of me regrets but my core knows is the right choice.”

According to The Washington Post, Odoms served tours in Afghanistan. The Ravens accepted his resignation, saying, “We greatly appreciate the work Joey did for us, and we thank him.”

Odoms had been singing the national anthem for the Ravens since 2014.

Deshaun Watson gives first NFL paycheck to stadium workers affected by Hurricane Harvey

Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson donated his first NFL game check Wednesday afternoon to three team employees who lost everything during Hurricane Harvey.

>> Watch the video here

The three employees Watson helped work in the team cafeteria at NRG Stadium. With a base salary of $465,000 in 2017, the former Clemson star and 2017 first-round pick is set to earn $29,062.50 per game. Because of Watson’s generosity, each of the women received close to $10,000.

>> How to help Hurricane Maria victims: Where to donate, how to volunteer and more

“For what y’all do for us every day, and never complain. I really appreciate y’all,” Watson told the employees, according to HoustonTexans.com. “I wanted to give my first game check to y’all to help y’all out in some type of way. Hopefully that helps you out and helps you get back on your feet. Anything else y’all need, I’m always here to help.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

For those who have followed Watson’s football career, this act of kindness should come as no surprise.

>> Read more trending news

Watson has settled in nicely as Houston’s starting quarterback. He had an impressive performance in his second career NFL start against the New England Patriots in Week 3, and his play will likely be the deciding factor in whether the Texans return to the postseason in 2017.

Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncey: ‘We’ll all be standing for the national anthem’

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey said the team will stand united during the national anthem Sunday before its game against the Baltimore Ravens.

“I think the bigger message was we were trying to stay out of it. That we should (have) united inside,” Pouncey told reporters after practice Wednesday. “It was all about the flag. It was just a big misunderstanding. Trust me, I’m very sorry to anyone who feels the way they do. I care about the flag dearly. Trust me, this team will be out there standing Sunday.”

>> Read more trending news

The Steelers made national headlines earlier this week when they stayed in the tunnel during the national anthem before their game against the Chicago Bears. 

Offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva was seen standing several feet in front of the rest of the team, which led to speculation about whether the players were divided.

Pouncey addressed that as well.

“That’s something that happened after the whirlwind of the meeting. It was a shock to all of us. We feel just as bad. Trust us. We keep telling you guys ... We gotta make it right, and I honestly think we will go out and make it right.”

Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Heyward addressed the controversy Monday, trying to make it clear that the team supports our country and our troops. Pouncey reiterated that message.

“I promise you one thing this week, we’ll all be standing out there for the national anthem,” Pouncey said. “Trust me. We respect our flag and we respect the military."

Protests during the anthem in the NFL gained attention last year when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began sitting, later kneeling during the anthem. Since then, players in different sports have kneeled during the anthem to draw attention to racial inequality, police brutality and general social injustices in the United States.

Restaurants, bars stop airing NFL games in the midst of protests

A Virginia restaurant and bar is vowing to stop showing NFL games until players stop kneeling for the national anthem.

>> Read more trending news 

“Enough is enough,” Fat Tuesday’s in Fairfax, Virginia, wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post to customers. “As proud parents of an active duty member of the US Army and a veteran of Afghanistan, we stand on the side of our brave men & women in uniform not the men in sports costumes that take a knee and disrespect our country, our National Anthem, our military and our veterans.”

“We place a much higher value on our great country than any sporting event,” the announcement continued. “Therefore, we will not be showing any NFL games at Fat Tuesday’s until there is a stop to this foolishness.”

Owner RL Butler said he and his wife came to the decision after this weekend’s NFL games, which saw whole teams protesting during the national anthem and a number of head coaches and team owners linking arms with them in solidarity. While he doesn’t have an issue with athletes using their platforms to protest and bring awareness to issues, he doesn’t think it should be done during the anthem.

“It’s not about protesting as much as it’s the way they’re doing it,” he told Rare.us. “You can protest all you want any other time and place, but when that song starts playing, you stand.”

So far, they’ve received a mixture of positive and negative feedback from patrons and Facebook users alike. The Butlers don’t plan on reversing the new policy anytime soon.

David McCraw, a former veteran and owner of Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House in Greenville, South Carolina, has also vowed to stop showing broadcasting NFL games until league members stop kneeling.

“NFL will never be played at Palmetto Alehouse until all players pay respect to our flag and our country,” McCraw told WHNS.

McCraw, who called the kneeling players entitled, arrogant and disrespectful, also said “people who’ve attained celebrity status should not be telling people what or what not to do because they don’t share the same struggles as people who live normal lives,” WHNS reported.

“I do not support anyone that thinks that our country or our flag is not worth standing for,” McCraw told WHNS.

He continued: “Our president is our president, but I don’t stand in unity with everything he says. This is a country of one people and we need to stand for our flag. There are issues in this country that need to be addressed, but disrespecting our flag and our country is not the way to do it.”

McCraw said he will show other sports on TVs at his restaurant.

Firefighter relieved of duty after saying NFL anthem protesters should be 'shot in the head'

A former Earle, Arkansas, firefighter was relieved of his duties after commenting on NFL players kneeling for the national anthem.

>> Watch the news report here

In a Facebook post, Jonathan Marotti wrote:

"U want my honest opinion about these worthless piece of c**p professional football basketball and baseball wannabe players i think trump should post snipers at every game and each player that takes a knee or sits in the lockeroom should b shot in the head i have no sympathy for them and no respect and as for the rest of u obama lovin snowflakes out here protesting and makin idiots out of urselves u should b shot on sight to if u disagree with me then dont let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya."

>> Pennsylvania fire chief out of a job after racial slur directed at Steelers' Tomlin

The post has since been removed or made private.

The Earle Fire Department relieved Marotti of his duties indefinitely for the inappropriate comments.

Mayor Sherman Smith said the post is not representative of the city of Earle.

>> Live updates: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react

“I hope the people don't connect that with the attitude or tone of the city of Earle because it certainly does not display it in any way,” Smith said.

When asked whether the city has a current social media policy, he said, "No," adding he will now look to initiate one.

>> PHOTOS: NFL takes a stand on football Sunday

“Especially with it being the thing of the day and people really relying on that to a large degree, I think it would be a good move to go ahead and adopt one,” Smith said.

While Marotti apologizes to those who he offended, those who live in Earle agree with the right to free speech but in this case disagree with how it was carried out.

>> Read more trending news

“There's enough stuff going on out here already,” said resident William Davis. 

Marotti issued the following public apology Tuesday: 

"This is jonathan marotti id like to take this time to apologize to everyone i offended with my facebook post it was wrong and childish and i made a mistake that i cant erase id like to apologize to my family and my friends and most of all to the earle fd and the city of earle and to fire fighters all over this great land im truely embarrassed about this and i hope u all can forgive me."

Pennsylvania fire chief out of a job after racial slur directed at Steelers' Tomlin

The Cecil Township Board of Supervisors in Pennsylvania has removed Paul Smith as fire chief of the Muse Volunteer Fire Company.

>> Watch the news report here

In a statement, the board said, "Effective immediately, Paul Smith is no longer the volunteer fire chief in Muse."

>> Live updates: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react

Firefighters who want to remain anonymous told WPXI that it's not been an easy day for them; they have been receiving threats at the other two fire stations in town, as well.

>> Photos: NFL takes a stand on football Sunday

Several Washington County firefighters contacted WPXI, saying they weren't comfortable with a comment made by the Cecil fire chief on Facebook during Sunday’s Steelers game.

>> Villanueva regrets being the lone Steelers player to stand for the national anthem

On Monday, WPXI reached out to Cecil Township's board of supervisors, who said they are deeply disturbed by the comment.

>> WWII veteran, 97, kneels in support of NFL's national anthem protests

"The Cecil Township Board of Supervisors is deeply disturbed by the comments made by volunteer Chief Smith, and in no way, shape or form condone his comments,” said the township manager.

>> On WPXI.com: Pittsburgh Steelers lineman, veteran Alejandro Villanueva's jersey listed as top seller

Smith was commenting on a post about the Steelers’ decision not to participate in the national anthem on the field and wrote, "Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good [N-words]. Yes I said it.”

>> Tom Brady calls Trump's comments on national anthem protests 'divisive'

Smith was captain of Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 2 in Muse. He is currently out of the country on vacation, but said he regrets the statement.

>> LeBron James again calls Trump a 'bum,' salutes NFL national anthem protests

"I am embarrassed at this," he told WPXI. "I want to apologize. I was frustrated and angry at the Steelers not standing for the anthem. ... This had nothing to do with my fire department. I regret what I said."

>> Cowboys, coach Jason Garrett, owner Jerry Jones take a knee before national anthem in Phoenix

Dylan Parseo, who is the son of the former police chief of Muse Fire Company No. 2, believes Smith crossed the line.

>> Read more trending news

"I'm completely upset. Especially for a town like this, coming from the fire chief. That's disrespectful in my eyes," Parseo said. 

Auburn, Oklahoma State, USC coaches among 10 charged with corruption

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday announced charges against 10 people accused of participating in a pair of college basketball bribery schemes, including four coaches in top-tier college basketball programs and employees of global sportswear apparel giant Adidas.

>> Read more trending news 

“The picture painted by the charges brought today is not a pretty one,” acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities allege that four coaches took bribes to steer their student athletes toward financial advisers, business managers and athletic advisers, including Jim Gatto, listed online as the director of global marketing for Adidas; and Munish Sood, identified by The Washington Post as chief executive of financial advisory company Princeton Capital.

Prosecutors identified the charged coaches as Auburn University assistant coach Chuck Person, University of Southern California assistant coach Tony Bland, University of Arizona assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson and Oklahoma State University assistant coach Lamont Evans.

Live updates: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react 

Players across the NFL fired back at President Donald Trump by taking a knee, standing or refusing to show up at all for the national anthem before Sunday’s games and again Monday night.

>> Read more trending news

The protests came after Trump suggested that NFL team owners should fire players who refuse to stand during the anthem, telling a crowd in Alabama on Friday that “that’s a total disrespect for our heritage.”

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first started kneeling during the anthem last year, to protest police violence against minorities. The protest got mixed reactions, but other NFL players -- and players in other sports -- have since followed Kaepernick’s lead to protest inequality.

LeBron James again calls Trump a 'bum,' salutes NFL national anthem protests

Basketball star LeBron James doubled down on his criticism of President Donald Trump in a press conference with reporters in Cleveland on Monday after Trump criticized James’s friend and on-court rival, Stephen Curry.

>> Live updates: Trump slams NFL players for national anthem protests, athletes react

“U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” James wrote in a weekend tweet.

>> See the tweet here

Given the chance to soften his statements, James, once again, called Trump a bum.

>> Watch the moment here

“He is a bum,” James told reporters during the Cleveland Cavaliers’s media day. “He doesn’t understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country. He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the president.”

>> Read more trending news

During his conversation Monday with reporters, James praised the NFL players who chose to silently protest before Sunday’s game. At one point, he chastised Trump by saying that he for “damn sure” didn’t run the country.

“The people run this country, not one individual, and damn sure not him,” James said.

>> Click here to watch

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