Five (out of original 11) NFL players (Niggers) touch down in Israel for post-Super Bowl tour

http://www.timesofisrael.com/five-remaining-nfl-players-touch-down-in-israel-for-post-super-bowl-tour/

 

Five National Football League players began a post-Super Bowl visit to Israel on Tuesday, following a storm of criticism by some of the other invited athletes who pulled out after expressing their displeasure with the stated goals of the visit sponsored by the Israeli government.

The five football players — down from 11 — currently in Israel are Calais Campbell of the Arizona Cardinals, the Oakland Raiders’ Dan Williams, Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints, Delanie Walker of the Tennessee Titans, and Philadelphia Eagles player Mychal Kendricks.

All five were present at Haifa’s Rambam Hospital on Tuesday, one of the planned stops on the seven-day trip.

The trip’s organizers, including Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and America’s Voices in Israel (a branch of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, a non-partisan group), did not confirm or deny which players were in Israel.

The planned trip also includes visits to major sites in Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea and Haifa, as well as Christian sites in the Galilee. The players will also head to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem and meet with representatives of the Black Hebrews in Dimona.

Steve Leibowitz, president and founder of the American Football League in Israel, said the group would probably have a “meet-and-greet” at Jerusalem’s Kraft Stadium — the outdoor football field created by New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft — on Saturday night, February 18.

Team owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP)

Team owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP)

The original 11-member crew of athletes included players Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks, Bennett’s younger brother and New England Patriots player Martellus Bennett, Miami Dolphins’ Kenny Stills, San Francisco 49ers player Carlos Hyde and Denver Broncos player Justin Forsett. ESPN football commentator and former NFL linebacker Kirk Morrison was also set to join.

The visiting players have been mostly silent on social media since their arrival in Israel Monday night, with the exception of Philadelphia Eagles’ Mychal Kendricks, who posted an Instagram video on Tuesday in a Tel Aviv eatery, singing along to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s get it on” and asking an Israeli waitress to say hello to the camera “in your language.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQefbZdAQaN/embed/

The withdrawals from the trip, which garnered international headlines, were led by Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who pulled out saying he felt he was being “used” by the Israeli government after reading comments about the trip made by Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin in a press release published by the Tourism Ministry on February 5, Super Bowl Sunday, and reported by The Times of Israel.

The Brothers Bennett, NFL players Michael Bennett (left) and Martellus Bennett, captured during an ESPN interview, were supposed to visit Israel on a seven-day trip; Michael Bennett has now become an outspoken opponent of the purpose of the trip (YouTube screen grab)

The Brothers Bennett, NFL players Michael Bennett (left) and Martellus Bennett, captured during an ESPN interview, were supposed to visit Israel on a seven-day trip; Michael Bennett has now become an outspoken opponent of the purpose of the trip (YouTube screen grab)

Both ministers suggested the trip’s purpose was to “show a balanced picture of Israel” in the fight against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as Erdan was quoted as saying, so that the athletes could become “ambassadors of good will for Israel,” said Levin.

Registering his refusal to participate, Bennett first tweeted a picture of Martin Luther King Jr., saying “Im not going to Israel.” He then followed it with a long letter late Friday in which he talked about his discomfort with being considered an ambassador for Israel, and proposing that when he does visit Israel, he will go to the West Bank and Gaza as well.

Bennett’s public exit was followed by that of Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills and then reportedly by his younger brother, Martellus Bennett, of the New England Patriots. Denver Broncos running back Justin Forsett said he would nix the trip as well, and then later indicated that he and his wife had decided against it some weeks ago, because of the upcoming birth of his child.

There were also pressures on the football players from the BDS Movement, with an open letter published in The Nation and signed pro-Palestinian groups, activists and high-profile supporters including Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover and Alice Walker, who urged the players not to go.

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GROUP OF NFL PLAYERS (NIGGERS) STILL EN ROUTE TO ISRAEL DESPITE SOME WITHDRAWALS

The Israel tour arranged for a group of NFL players will go ahead as planned starting from Monday despite the publicized pull-outs of several of its original participants.

Three of the NFL players who were scheduled to arrive in Israel on Monday as part of a campaign to showcase the country’s “true face” to the world pulled out of the trip, explaining that they do not want to be “used” by the Israeli government.

 

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett led the boycott, being joined by brother Martellus, who won the Super Bowl with New England last week, and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills.

Nevertheless, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, which arranged the trip in cooperation with the Tourism Ministry, is going ahead with the tour, which includes visits to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea and Christian sites.

Bennett’s decision came on the heels of an open letter by renowned musicians, artists and social justice advocates released Thursday asking the NFL players “to consider withdrawing from the delegation given Israel’s track record of human rights abuses.”

Bennett wrote the following via Twitter and Instagram on Friday night: “I was excited to see this remarkable and historic part of the world with my own eyes. I was not aware until reading this article about the trip in the Times of Israel that my itinerary was being constructed by the Israeli government for the purposes of making me, in the words of a government official, an ‘influencer and opinion-former’ who would then be ‘an ambassador of good will.’ I will not be used in such a manner. When I do go to Israel – and I do plan to go – it will be to see not only Israel but also the West Bank and Gaza so I can see how the Palestinians, who have called this land home for thousands of years, live their lives.”

Bennett further cited boxing legend Muhammad Ali and that Ali “stood strongly with the Palestinian people” and wrote “I cannot do that by going on this kind of trip to Israel” and that he was making the decision “to be in accord with my own values and my own conscience.”

The letter to NFL players Thursday urged them “to consider the political ramifications of attending the trip, drawing connections between the struggles faced by Black and Brown communities in the US, and Palestinian, Eritrean and Sudanese communities in Israel and the Palestinian territories.”

The letter was signed by entertainer and activists Harry Belafonte, activist Angela Davis, actor Danny Glover and former sprinter John Carlos, among others, and co-signed by organizations that included the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

Other players listed as part of the delegation are Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Michael Kendricks, New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Calais Campbell, San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Dan Williams, Denver Broncos running back Justin Forsett and former linebacker Kirk Morrison.

The trip is also scheduled to include a meet-and-greet event on February 18th in Jerusalem (NOT an exhibition game, as had initially been reported) featuring the NFL delegation and players from the American Football in Israel federation and the Kraft Family Israel Football League.

Study Suggests Brain Damage in 40 Percent of Ex-NFL Players

MONDAY, April 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Two out of five retired National Football League players may suffer from traumatic brain injuries, a small study suggests.

Brain scans of 40 former NFL players, age 36 on average, found that nearly 43 percent had significantly more damage to the brain’s white matter than healthy adults the same age, researchers said.

Also, testing showed about half had significant problems following through on goals, and more than two out of five had learning, memory or attention problems.

“This is another piece of the puzzle that playing football places people at risk for traumatic brain injury that may cause problems later in life,” said lead researcher Dr. Francis Conidi, from the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology, in Port St. Lucie.

Traumatic brain injury may be a precursor to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative disease of the brain, Conidi said. “It’s important to prevent traumatic brain injury, because there is nothing you can do when they reach CTE,” he said.

Conidi added that one-third of people with traumatic brain injuries go on to develop Alzheimer’s, CTE or other neurodegenerative diseases.

The NFL, which for years disputed the notion that head injuries led to brain damage, said in a statement that it values studies of this kind.

“It is clear there are long-term health risks associated with sustaining head injuries,” said an NFL spokesman. “Studies of this nature are important to further advancing the science and better understanding these risks.”

One way to reduce the danger of traumatic brain injury in football is to limit hitting in practice, Conidi said, “because the damage is most likely cumulative.”

“You can’t take the hitting completely away without compromising the game,” Conidi said. However, “there is an accepted risk by the athlete,” he added. “As long as we can present the information that you may have problems later in life, they can make an informed decision.”

Another expert welcomed the report.

“Overall, this is a significant study highlighting the potential damage that can occur over time, especially in professional sports,” said Dr. Mohan Kottapally, an assistant professor of clinical neurology and neurocritical care at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

However, Kottapally said the study findings don’t necessarily establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the MRI findings and observable thinking problems. More information is needed for that, he said.

“The difficulty we face in treating patients with this disease is in determining the connection between imaging findings of dysfunction with clinical findings of dysfunction,” he said.

The former athletes in the study ranged in age from 27 to 56. They played in the NFL for an average of seven years and reported an average of eight concussions, Conidi said.

In addition, 12 men reported several sub-concussive hits — hard blows that weren’t diagnosed as a concussion, he said.

When the researchers used special MRIs and examined the brain’s white matter, which connects brain regions, they found 17 players had evidence of traumatic brain injury, Conidi said.

Also, 30 percent had disruption of the nerve cells that allow brain cells to send messages to each other, he said.

It appeared those who played the longest were most likely to have signs of traumatic brain injury.

The number of concussions suffered, however, was not related to signs of traumatic brain injury, Conidi said.

The explanation must lie somewhere else, Conidi said. One possible cause is that hits during play — not necessarily head hits — cause strain deep within the brain’s white matter, which result in lasting damage, he said.

This may be why offensive and defensive linemen were most likely to show signs of traumatic brain injury, he said. “It’s not concussion, it’s the banging that appears to be causing the problems here,” he added.

“We have possibly found a link to CTE or an alternative explanation for some of the neurological problems people are finding in retired football players,” he said.

The study findings were scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada. The research should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Study: 95.6 percent of deceased NFL players tested positive for CTE

Research conducted on almost 100 deceased NFL players revealed that over 95 percent of them tested positive for the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

In a study published by Frontline on Friday, a total of 87 out of 91 players were found to have the disease. The CTE research was carried out by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University.

The chief of neuropathology at the VA Boston Healthcare System, Dr. Ann McKee, told Frontline that CTE is a “very real disease.”

“People think that we’re blowing this out of proportion, that this is a very rare disease and that we’re sensationalizing it,” McKee said. “My response is that where I sit, this is a very real disease. We have had no problem identifying it in hundreds of players.”

Although research had suggested that concussions were one of the likely causes of CTE, new evidence suggests that “minor head trauma that occurs regularly in football may pose” a greater risk than the occasional violent collision.

The study noted that 40 percent of the positive tests were done on offensive or defensive linemen, who are subject to violent collisions on almost every play in a football game.

In a statement, the NFL said that it continues to strive to make game safer.

“We are dedicated to making football safer and continue to take steps to protect players, including rule changes, advanced sideline technology, and expanded medical resources,” the league said. “We continue to make significant investments in independent research through our gifts to Boston University, the [National Institutes of Health] and other efforts to accelerate the science and understanding of these issues.”

In 2010, the league donated $1 million to the same brain bank that helped carry out the research published by Frontline.

Although the high number of CTE cases should be alarming for the NFL, researchers did note that the research was slightly skewered because many of the brains donated to the lab came from people who already believed they had the disease.

To put that in perspective, imagine if this study had been done with only former NFL kickers. CTE likely would’ve been found in far fewer brains, but that wouldn’t mean it’s not prevalent.

Even if the study’s 95 percent number is a little high, it’s still an alarming issue for the NFL — and you can count former NFL tight end Tom Crabtree among those who are alarmed.

Three former players who committed suicide in the past four years — Dave Duerson, Ray Easterling and Junior Seau — were all found to have CTE.

Revis on Mark Sanchez: ‘We didn’t have a quarterback’

http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/revis-on-mark-sanchez-we-didnt-have-a-quarterback/ar-AAdj0PV

The New York Jets lost in the AFC Championship in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010. The quarterback at the helm? Mark Sanchez. Sure, he didn’t get much of the credit for the team’s success, but that’s mainly because he wasn’t asked to lead the offense the way most NFL quarterbacks are. Still, leading your team to two-straight conference championships in your first two seasons is quite the accomplishment.

One former teammate, however, who was unimpressed with Sanchez’s play is Darrelle Revis. Revis was a big reason for the Jets’ success in both seasons, but he thinks just the opposite of his former quarterback Sanchez.

“We almost made it [in 2009 and ’10], and we didn’t have a quarterback,” Revis said in a cover story for Sports Illustrated. “Mark was solid. He wasn’t elite.”

Ouch. Revis held back nothing with that comment, even if he did try to save himself by saying Mark was “solid.” Sorry, Darrelle. There’s no going back now. I’m not disagreeing that the Jets didn’t have a quarterback, but I also didn’t play with Sanchez for four seasons.

I can’t wait to hear what Revis has to say when he sees the way Geno Smith plays, being the worst quarterback in the league for the second-straight year.

Chiefs make Justin Houston richest linebacker in NFL history with $101M deal

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/chiefs/2015/07/15/justin-houston-new-contract-richest-linebacker-franchise-tag/30189019/

While wide receivers Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas have created the most franchise tag drama,Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston is the player who cashed in first.

Houston, who had a league-high 22 sacks last season, signed a six-year deal worth $101 million Wednesday, hours before the deadline for franchise players to reach a long-term deal, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Houston’s deal, which includes $52.5 million in guarantees, makes him the NFL’s second-highest paid defensive player behind Miami Dolphins defensive tackleNdamukong Suh and the best-compensated linebacker in league history. It surpasses the $100 million deal signed by Houston Texans defensive end and reigning defensive player of the year J.J. Watt last year.

“He’s one of the top players in the National Football League and a premier pass rusher,” general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “As we’ve said from the beginning, Justin the football player, and the person, is someone we wanted to be a part of our organization. We are very happy that he will remain a member of the Chiefs.”

The Chiefs have now locked up half of their dominant pass rushing duo and ensured that Houston, who skipped offseason workouts, will join fellow outside linebackerTamba Hali and the rest of the team at training camp in St. Joseph, Mo., later this month.

Houston has 48½ career sacks since the Chiefs drafted him in the third round out of the University of Georgia in 2011. He arrived in the NFL with less fanfare than other top pass rushers in his class — including Watt, the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller and San Francisco 49ers’ Aldon Smith — yet now he makes more money than all of them.

A Life Built Around Fantasy

It is time to explore a topic that I rarely ever speak about but this is somewhat important for I like to drift away from the mundane topics of Jewish supremacy and the evils of Freemasonry.  Today, I wish to discuss a life built upon fantasy….fantasy football that is.  In truth, I didn’t much know or cared about fantasy football until around August of 2010 as I used it to stay relevant in topics about the NFL and the NFL Draft and college football.  That all changed in 2013 when I discovered the joys of fantasy football and how well i could thrive in such an environment for I understood matchups, how to play the hot hand, and my understanding of NFL offenses.  I decided in the summer of 2014 to actually enter a fantasy football league on Yahoo sports just to see how well I could handle the actual challenges of running my own fantasy football team.  I assembled a pretty horrible team (looking back in hindsight) because I selected Montee Ball as my first round pick and my hand picked quarterback, Matthew Stafford, didn’t even last with me all throughout the season.  I ended up releasing Ball once he became too injured to play and realized quite quickly that Tony Romo and Ben Roethlisberger were better quarterbacks playing in a run based offense and a pass first offense respectively.  I did hit on some good players like my kicker, defense/special teams, and a Green Bay Packer wideout, Randal Cobb.

As the season progressed, I found myself completely obsessed with scouting the waiver wire pickups, trying to gain an advantage against my next opponent.  I would wake up every Tuesday morning and then head off to work and would always be on my phone reading up on player injuries, who was on a hot streak, and which players to avoid and which players to pickup.  I ended up having a 5-4 record and finishing in 5th place; till this day, I cannot believe that Russel Wilson was able to account for 40 fantasy points.  It was that occasion that destroyed my ability to qualify for the fantasy football playoffs, but I believe that this year might be different.  Next week, I will participate in my fantasy football draft on Yahoo Sports and will try and participate in the 2015 NFL Fantasy Football Leagues.  All of this is dependent on if I am alive in the next few weeks due to poor health but maybe, just maybe, this is something to live for in the short term as a grasp of hope in a hopeless world.