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Green Beret Nate Boyer I Fought So Marshawn Can Sit But I Disagree With Protest

8/19/2017 12:25 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nate Boyer -- the former Army Green Beret who played briefly with the Seahawks -- says he doesn't exactly agree with Marshawn Lynch's national anthem protest ... but he fought for his right to do it! 

Boyer's story is legendary ... he served 6 years with the U.S. military doing multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan before returning and walking on to the University of Texas football team. 

After college, he signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2015 -- and went through camp with Marshawn and Michael Bennett ... guys he really likes and respects. 

So, we figured he was the perfect guy to talk to about Marshawn and Bennett both sitting for the anthem during the NFL pre-season games. 

"They have every right to do what they're doing. I don't necessarily agree with it but it's their right and it's the right that I fought for."

He continued ... "They're not hurting anybody. They're not hitting women like some of these people in the league are doing."

Boyer -- who also consulted Colin Kaepernick about his controversial protest last season -- says what's more problematic to him is the state of the country.

"I think as a service member, it's more upsetting for me to come back from fighting for my country overseas to see how divided we are and how angry we are at each other as a country, I'm more hurt by that than somebody sitting down during the anthem."

James Harrison I Never Threatened Anthem Protesters

8/18/2017 10:14 AM PDT
Breaking News

Pittsburgh Steelers badass James Harrison is opening up about how he REALLY feels about national anthem protesters ... in the wake of a fake threat attributed to him last week. 

The false quote whizzed around social media -- claiming Harrison said, "Anyone on my team sits for the anthem, they better be in a wheelchair."

He never said it. It was completely made up. 

But now, Harrison is telling The MMQB how he would feel if his teammates decided to follow guys like Marshawn Lynch and Michael Bennett

"That’s up to the individual ... if they feel like that’s something they want to do, that’s their right."

Deebo was victimized by a similar fake news post last season ... when a different account said he'd break any teammate's leg for following Colin Kaepernick's anthem protests. 

Sean Smith's Victim Hospitalized In Critical Condition ... Cops Say

8/18/2017 7:37 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Oakland Raiders cornerback Sean Smith allegedly beat his sister's boyfriend so badly during a July 4 attack, the guy was hospitalized in critical condition with multiple broken bones in his face, TMZ Sports has learned. 

Law enforcement tells us ... officers responded to calls of an unconscious male on the streets of Pasadena and when help arrived they found him bloody and beaten on the sidewalk. 

We're told it was obvious the man had multiple facial fractures. 

Cops previously said Smith beat the man and then stomped his head. 

Investigators spoke with multiple witnesses -- and fingered Smith as the assailant. 

Smith -- who signed a 4-year, $38 million contract in 2016 -- was arrested for felony assault. He posted $80,000 bond and is due back in court to be arraigned in September. 

For his part, Smith has denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to fight the case. 

The NFL has launched its own investigation into the incident. 

So far, no comment from the Raiders. 

Raiders' Sean Smith Charged with Felony Assault ... Over July 4th Beatdown

8/17/2017 5:27 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Oakland Raiders cornerback Sean Smith -- who signed a $40 million contract last year -- was arrested Thursday and charged with felony assault, TMZ Sports has learned. 

Officials say Smith attacked his sister's boyfriend on July 4 -- beat and stomped on his head in Pasadena in the early hours. 

He's been charged with felony assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury. 

If convicted, Smith faces up to 7 years in state prison. 

It's not Smith's first brush with the law -- he was convicted of DUI stemming from a 2014 car crash in which he smashed into a light pole. 

We've reached out to the Raiders for comment -- so far, no word back. 

Smith's attorney, Daniel Rosenberg, says Smith maintains his innocence and vows to fight the charges.

Marshawn Lynch Flips Metaphorical Finger at Anthem Protest Questions

8/17/2017 3:22 PM PDT
Breaking News

Oakland Raiders star Marshawn Lynch was asked point-blank by the media about his national anthem protest -- but by the way he bobbed, weaved and clowned the questions, you'd think he was Floyd Mayweather

When asked to address the "elephant in the room" ... Beast Mode responded with an elephant metaphor -- something about how elephants are scared of mice. 

When asked how he felt about the way Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio responded to the anthem protest, he slithered out of that one, too.

Bottom line -- he's just here so he won't get fined.

Mike Vick Responds to Charlottesville Virginia Will 'Get it Right'

8/17/2017 2:41 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Mike Vick says his home state of Virginia WILL overcome the politically charged violence in Charlottesville ... telling TMZ Sports he has faith in the people of the commonwealth.

"Virginia's home -- I love Virginia," the QB told us outside Mastro's in L.A. "We'll get it right, trust me."

President Trump's been under fire for his reaction to the events in Virginia, and we asked Vick about 45's response, but Mike chose to stay mum on that topic.

He did however weigh in on the whole Ezekiel Elliott situation, showing a little bit of support for the embattled Dallas Cowboys star.

Bucs, Rays & Lightning: We'll Pay to Take Down Confederate Statue ... In Tampa Bay

8/17/2017 11:43 AM PDT
Breaking News

Three major Tampa sports teams are pitching in to remove a Confederate monument from the city's courthouse in the wake of the backlash against similar statues in Virginia. 

The statue in the middle of the controversy is the infamous Memoria en Aeterna -- a 106-year-old monument honoring the Confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War. 

Officials recently voted to remove the statue -- but only if removal costs were raised from private donors. The cost was estimated at roughly $150,000

Enter the NFL's Tampa Bay Bucs, the MLB's Rays and the NHL's Lightning ... which just stepped up. 

"Recognizing that this monument does not reflect the values of our community, in collaboration with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, our organizations have dedicated funds to assist in moving the statue from the public space in front of the courthouse."

"Now more than ever before, we must stand united and committed to diversity and inclusion as we all attempt to heal from the tragedy in Charlottesville."

No word on when the statue will come down.

Isaiah Thomas I'm Not Sitting For National Anthem

8/17/2017 6:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

NBA superstar Isaiah Thomas says he will NOT be sitting during the national anthem this upcoming season ... but tells TMZ Sports he supports his fellow athletes for doing what they feel is right.

We spoke with the Celtics point guard about players like Marshawn Lynch and Michael Bennett staying seated over the weekend ... and while I.T. says he's not gonna join the movement, he understands the bigger picture.

"Stand for what you feel is right. I'm not going to do it, but that's those players' decisions."

Thomas also talked about the recent violence in Charlottesville ... and he wants to send a simple message:

"I just wish everybody would love and not hate."

Jermichael Finley Blasted By Baby Mama 'Don't Forget You're Black!'

8/17/2017 6:29 AM PDT
Breaking News

Jermichael Finley's baby mama just WENT OFF on the former NFL tight end for trashing guys like Marshawn Lynch and Colin Kaepernick over their protests ... telling him, "You are black!" 

The ex-Green Bay Packer really pissed off his ex, Courtney Finley, with comments he made on social media and TMZ Sports ... when he said the national anthem protests are more about self-promotion than social justice.

Courtney, who is white, blasted the guy in a scathing Twitter post saying ... 

"This serves as a reminder @jermichaelf88 in case you have forgotten; you are black."

"The athletes (foremost people) you are telling to sit down (or stand) and shut up are the very men that are protesting for your safety and equality in a country that has nearly revoked that right based on your skin color."

"As a biracial mother of 4 black boys, that have been left to be raised by a single mother, I have deep and desperate gratitude for those that use their platform to fight for our community's justice, safety, & equality."

Courtney says Jermichael's comments are "absurd" and "offensive" -- adding, "Don't be so pathetically thirsty for attention that you choose to devalue another man's motives."

"Don't choose to be so insulting and imply professional athletes have no place in changing the world."

"Most importantly, don't forget to look in the mirror and see that you too are black and have an obligation to derail racism as best you can for yourself and others."

"If you don't want to be part of the resolution to the racial inequalities in this country that's on you, but for the sake of our 4 sons, don't be part of the problem. I pray you will reevaluate your stance."

[h/t BSO

NFL Players Association Fires Back At NFL For Zeke Statement They're Liars & Hypocrites

8/16/2017 11:34 AM PDT
Breaking News

The NFL Players Association is firing back at the NFL for its recent statement on the Zeke Elliott case ... calling them hypocrites and liars who should be ashamed for "stooping to new lows."

The scathing statement is in direct response to NFL's release on Wednesday ... where they accused the PA of "spreading derogatory information to the media about the victim in the Ezekiel Elliott discipline case."

The Players Association released the following statement.

"The public statement issued on behalf of every NFL owner is a lie. The NFLPA categorically denies the accusations made in this statement. We know the league office has a history of being exposed for its lack of credibility."

"This is another example of the NFL's hypocrisy on display and an attempt to create a sideshow to distract from their own failings in dealing with such serious issues. They should be ashamed for stooping to new lows."

NFL Stop Shaming Ezekiel Elliott's Accuser!

8/16/2017 10:02 AM PDT
Breaking News

The NFL is calling out the NFL Player's Association ... saying the league has received tips that the NFLPA is going on a smear campaign against Ezekiel Elliott's accuser in an effort to exonerate the RB. 

Multiple reports have surfaced in the past few days, painting the accuser as everything from a racist to an extortionist ... and the NFL's public relations honcho says the reports are shameful. 

"Over the past few days we’ve received multiple reports of the NFLPA spreading derogatory information to the media about the victim in the Ezekiel Elliott discipline case," Brian McCarthy said. 

"It's a common tactic to attempt to prove the innocence of the accused by discrediting the victim -- in this case Ms. Thompson -- when coming forward to report such abuse."

"Common or not, these tactics are shameful. Efforts to shame and blame victims are often what prevent people from coming forward to report violence and/or seek help in the first place."

We called the NFLPA for comment -- so far, no word back. 

The NFL is standing by its investigation into Zeke -- which the league says showed a pattern of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson

ESPN's Byron Scott: Fantasy Auction Sketch Is 'Unacceptable'

8/16/2017 9:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

ESPN analyst Byron Scott says the fantasy football auction sketch that aired on the network is "unacceptable" ... but he's not calling for the producer to get fired. 

The network has already apologized for the sketch which showed a white man auctioning off players (many of them black) to a white crowd. Critics say it resembled a slave auction. 

Stars like Kevin Durant and Odell Beckham made it clear the sketch was NOT cool with them. 

So, we asked Scott -- who often appears on ESPN's "The Jump" -- how he felt about the situation. 

"It is unacceptable ... I thought we've come a lot further than we have. Obviously we have not. We have a ways to go."

Scott says he hopes the producer of the segment can learn from his mistakes. 

With Scott being an avid golfer, we also asked the NBA legend if he would ever play on a Trump course.

Hint: Don't book a tee time at Doral any time soon ... 

Tim Brown I'm Against Marshawn's Protest 'Why Bring This Negativity?'

8/15/2017 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Tim Brown is against Marshawn Lynch's national anthem protest -- telling TMZ Sports, "Why bring negativity to this incredible, positive situation?"

Brown is a Raiders icon -- one of the greatest players in franchise history who's still very involved with the team. 

So, we asked #81 how he felt about Oakland's star running back taking a seat during the anthem at the pre-season game in Arizona this weekend. Brown didn't hold back. 

"Why man? Why bring this to yourself? He has the perfect thing going on in Oakland. Why bring negativity to this incredible positive situation? ... I just don't get it."

"I understand these guys man, they're trying to make statements and they're trying to be a part of this world but football is where people go to get away from that stuff."

Brown says he's confident Raiders honchos would support Marshawn's causes any way the team could outside the stadium ... but he just feels the political and social statements don't belong at work. 

7:36 AM PT -- Tim Brown believes his comments are being misunderstood. 

He believes his points are expressed better in the context of the full interview and has asked us to post the entire 8 minutes. So, here it is. 

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