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Steelers players not on board with Goodell's power

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Steelers players not on board with Goodell's power

Tom Brady may not be the most sympathetic character among fans of other NFL teams, but there are still those outside of New England unhappy with the league’s decision to uphold the Patriots quarterback’s four-game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate.

The issue is how, once again, commissioner Roger Goodell gets to decide on punishment, then hear the appeal and rule on whether his punishment was fair.

That’s how the system works, as set up in the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players reached in 2011. But the Pittsburgh Steelers players didn’t like giving Goodell so much power, and they were the only team not to approve the deal.

“I think a lot of it stems back to the last CBA and how strong the players who were on this team felt at that time about the commissioner and the personal conduct policy,’’ Charlie Batch, then a member of the Steelers and part of the NFL Players Association executive committee, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Steelers had objected to the punishment handed down by Goodell against quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (suspension after sexual assault allegations, for which he was not charged) and linebacker James Harrison (repeated fines for illegal hits on the field).

“At that time, we were one of the only teams going through it as it related to James Harrison and Ben. Players voted against it because they were more or less unhappy with the way the personal conduct policy worked.”

So now the NFLPA has gone to court to protest Goodell’s ruling on Brady’s appeal.

“We represent everybody,’’ said guard Ramon Foster, the Steelers’ player representative. “You want a fair case, fair judgment on everything. The best thing to do is just get all the information and let us help him [present] his stuff and see what happens.”

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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