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NFL notebook: Hall of Famer Jim Brown says he’d never kneel during anthem

August 17, 2018

NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown: “I am not going to denigrate my flag, and I’m going to stand for the national anthem.”

Jim Brown has spent much of his post-NFL career fighting for social justice and change.

However, the Hall of Fame running back would never kneel during the national anthem.

The 82-year-old Brown, who championed civil rights during his playing career and became an activist in retirement, said Tuesday night that he respects players’ rights to do what they want but his preference is they would stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“I’ll never kneel, and I will always respect the flag,” said Brown, who spoke before an HBO premiere of “Hard Knocks,” which is chronicling the Cleveland Browns in training camp.

Brown was asked how he would resolve the anthem issue, which has plagued the league for two years.

“Well, if you take the bottom line, what are we talking about? We’re talking about freedom to express one’s self, and if you don’t break any rules then you have that particular right,” he said.

“I am not going to denigrate my flag and I’m going to stand for the national anthem. I’m fighting with all of my strength to make it a better country, but I don’t think that’s the issue. Because what is the top side? Are you not going to stand up? This is our country, man.”

Rams, Donald getting closer

Rams general manager Les Snead said the team is getting closer to working out a deal with star defensive tackle and holdout Aaron Donald, according to multiple reports.

Snead told reporters at the team’s hotel in Baltimores that the two sides are in the same “ZIP code,” as far as negotiations go with the former Penn Hills and Pitt standout.

Donald did not report to the team by Tuesday’s deadline to receive credit for an accrued season, meaning he will not be an unrestricted free agent if he plays out this season without a new deal. Instead, he would be a restricted free agent, allowing the Rams to match any deal he agreed to with another team.

Browns rookie WR had bullets, gun parts in car

Browns rookie receiver Antonio Callaway had bullets and gun parts in his car when he was cited for marijuana possession.

Dash-camera video obtained by TMZ shows an officer asking Callaway to step out of his vehicle after the officer smells marijuana following a routine traffic stop. Callaway cooperates, and later one officer tells his partner that he became “real nervous” when he found the bullets and a strap for a Glock handgun in the vehicle.

The officer asks Callaway about the gun and the fourth-round pick says he has one but it’s in Florida.

There is no mention of the ammunition or gun parts in the report filed by Strongsville, Ohio police. The AP has requested the dash-cam video.

Callaway, who had several off-field issues in college, was given a ticket after a “small amount” of marijuana was found.

A Browns spokesman said Callaway is traveling with the team for Thursday’s exhibition against the New York Giants.

Niners to honor late WR Clark

The 49ers will honor former tight end Dwight Clark with a season-long celebration of his life that will include unveiling a statue of “The Catch.”

Clark died in June at age 61. He suffered from ALS.

All 49ers players will wear 87 helmet decals throughout the season, and Levi’s Stadium field bunting will pay tribute to Clark during all 49ers games.

The statue outside of Levi’s Stadium will be revealed Oct. 21 when the 49ers host the Rams. The 350-pound statues of Clark and Joe Montana will be placed 23 yards apart -- the distance covered on the famed winning play in the 1981 NFC championship game. The representation of Clark, with his hands outstretched, will extend 11 feet in the air.

Extra points

Faye Spanos, the wife of Chargers owner Alex Spanos, has died. She was 92. Faye Spanos died late Tuesday night of undisclosed causes. ... The Panthers have signed offensive lineman Tyler Larsen to a two-year contract extension.

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