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KC fans observe moment for violence victims

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KC fans observe moment for violence victims

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Before the Kansas City Chiefs kicked off their game Sunday, fans at Arrowhead Stadium observed a moment of silence for the victims of domestic violence and their families.

Not mentioned was Jovan Belcher, the Chiefs linebacker who killed his girlfriend and then himself a day earlier, across the parking lot from the stadium.

Barely more than 24 hours later, fans grilled, played catch and enjoyed beverages on an unseasonably warm and sunny day.

The festive atmosphere masked some of the pain Chiefs fans felt after hearing that Belcher had killed 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, then drove to the team practice facility and turned the gun on himself. The couple had an infant daughter.

Coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli had tried to stop Belcher, and watched powerless as he shot himself in the head after thanking both of them for giving him a chance in the NFL.

``To have to witness that, I don't think you would wish that on your worst enemy,'' Chiefs fan Ty Rowton said. ``That memory will never, ever leave them.''

Missing from the sky above Arrowhead Stadium was the small plane that had carried a banner during previous home games calling for Pioli's firing. Fans, many of whom had been wearing black Chiefs apparel in recent games to protest the team's performance, turned out in red again.

``Now everybody's just in shock,'' Rowton said.

Arrowhead was less than half full, and quieter than usual, though the fans made some noise when Peyton Hillis scored a touchdown. The big running back took the ball over to the sideline, where he handed it to Crennel and gave the coach a big hug.

Chiefs fan Ben Cunningham, a 32-year-old who has missed only one home game in 23 years, said he feels sorry for the families and friends who now must endure the aftermath of Saturday's shootings, but not for Belcher.

``I don't have much sympathy for him,'' Cunningham said. ``He caused a lot of heartbreak for a lot of people.''

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Steelers will require fans to wear a mask at Heinz Field, should they be allowed

Steelers will require fans to wear a mask at Heinz Field, should they be allowed

If fans are permitted to attend Pittsburgh Steelers home games this fall, there's one item they can't forget: a mask.

Steelers' director of communication, Burt Lauten, explained the decision to require fans to wear a mask in a statement on Tuesday.

"Our goal is to still have fans at Heinz Field this year with the understanding that social distancing, as well as all fans being required to wear masks, will play a role in the capacity to ensure a safe atmosphere," Lauten said, via ESPN. "We will continue to work with the NFL and public health officials to finalize plans for fans to attend our home games."

Pittsburgh was one of the first franchises to alter its ticketing plans this season, as they decided in May to trim half of their individual game ticket sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The news comes just hours after their AFC North rival, the Baltimore Ravens, announced that M&T Bank Stadium will be capped at less than 14,000 fans this fall, should fans be allowed to attend games.

RELATED: NFL PROPOSED PAY CUT FOR PLAYERS

In June, The Athletic reported that the NFL will not place a limit on capacity at games, allowing each individual team to make the decision themselves.

"Attendance will be a state-by-state, county-by-county thing," an anonymous NFL source told The Athletic. "It will not be a one size fits all."

Additionally, the NFL has said that the first 6-8 rows of lower bowl sections, including field-level suites, will be blocked off this fall to help slow the spread of the virus. Those sections will be covered with tarps, which teams can use to sell advertising, similarly to what the Premier League in England has done.

With training camp still a few weeks away, there are a lot of virus-related questions the NFL must answer beforehand.

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Howard is a finalist for 2021 five-star defensive end Korey Foreman

Howard is a finalist for 2021 five-star defensive end Korey Foreman

The Howard University football program has moved a step closer to landing perhaps its highest-ranked recruit in years, if not ever.

Five-star defensive end Korey Foreman trimmed his college choice to seven on Wednesday evening, and the Howard Bison were on the list. The other six schools were Southern California (USC), LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Clemson, and Georgia.

In Foreman's tweet, he explained why Howard, a historically Black college (HBCU), was included in his list.

"I am a young black man that is happy and proud of my race," he wrote. "The Black Lives Matter movement is and forever will be powerful and definitely never forgotten. These are the schools I will now be focusing on the most. Set the standard and .. be different."

The news comes just a week after the Howard basketball program landed five-star Makur Maker, who chose the Bison over Division I schools UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis. Maker was the highest-ranked recruit Howard basketball has landed in its history. Mikey Williams, a top-five basketball recruit in the 2023 class, has already hinted about potentially playing at an HBCU as well.

Foreman, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end, is projected to commit to USC, according to 247Sports. Foreman is ranked the No. 2 overall prospect on 247Sports recruiting rankings for the 2021 class.

However, if the last few weeks are any indication, Howard can't be ruled out.

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