East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, December 26, 2017, Page Page 3B, Image 11

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017
East Oregonian
Page 3B
TOP STORY: Some allied groups called for an NFL boycott
Continued from 1B
Some allied groups were
quick to call for an NFL
boycott following Trump’s
remarks about the protesters.
The president’s attack on
athletes turned the anthems
— usually sung during
commercials — into must-
watch television shown
live by the networks and
streamed on devices.
In addition to the protests,
some players and coaches
locked arms in a show of
unity, which Trump said
was a display of “solidarity”
of which he approved. But
he pushed back against
the suggestion that his
critique could inflame racial
tensions, arguing: “This has
nothing to do with race. This
has to do with respect for
our country.”
But critics of the presi-
dent said Trump’s comments
had a lot to do with race.
“It just amazes me with
everything else going on
in this world, especially
involving the U.S., that’s
what you’re concerned
about, my man? You’re the
leader of the free world and
this is what you’re talking
about?” Miami Dolphins
safety Michael Thomas said.
“So, as a man, as a father,
as an African-American
man, as somebody in the
NFL and one of those ‘sons
of bitches,’ yeah, I took it
Roger Goodell said Trump’s
comments were “divisive”
and showed an “unfortunate
lack of respect.”
A handful of white
players didn’t stand, but
the vast majority of those
actively protesting were
“We felt like President
an assault on our most
cherished right, freedom
of speech,” said Denver
AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File
In this Nov. 1, 2017, file photo, the Houston Astros cel-
ebrate after Game 7 of baseball’s World Series against
the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Astros
winning their first World Series was one of the biggest
sports stories in 2017 for the AP.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File
In this Dec. 10 file photo, San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers’ Eli Harold (57),
Eric Reid (35) and Marquise Goodwin (11) kneel during the national anthem before
an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, in Houston. President Donald
Trump’s feud with the NFL about players kneeling during the national anthem is
the runaway winner for the top sports story of 2017 in balloting by AP members
and editors.
Broncos star Von Miller,
who normally steers clear of
politics and social issues.
Trump supporters argued
the president was not
targeting African-Ameri-
cans but instead was simply
expressing patriotism.
“Me taking a knee
doesn’t change the fact
that I support our military,
I’m a patriot and I love
Bills linebacker Lorenzo
Alexander said. “But I also
recognize there are some
social injustices in this
country and today I wanted
to take a knee in support of
my brothers who have been
doing it.”
Although the protests
returned to pre-Trump crit-
icism levels as the season
wound down, the presi-
dent’s feud with the NFL
sparked a firestorm that
reached across financial and
cultural landscapes, further
splitting a nation already
divided over politics and
social issues.
Kaepernick sued the
league, alleging team owners
conspired to keep him out
in response to his activism.
Hall of Fame Cowboys
owner Jerry Jones suggested
he’d fire any player who
knelt even though none of
his had done so.
Papa John’s Pizza founder
John Schnatter criticized
Goodell over his refusal to
force players to stand and
blamed the protests for a
slowing sales growth at
one of the league’s biggest
sponsors and advertisers.
The company apologized
for his comments following
praise from white suprema-
cists and said recently that
Schnatter is stepping down
as CEO in 2018.
The NFL, already dealing
with a dip in TV ratings, the
ongoing concussion issue
and a rash of star players
proposed contributing tens
of millions of dollars to
projects focused on criminal
justice reform, law enforce-
ment and community rela-
tions and education.
“I give kudos to the
NFL for wanting to step up
and help us with regard to
systemic oppression,” 49ers
safety Eric Reid said. “I
question their intent behind
it. I personally think they
just want the protests to end
because it’s hurting their
bottom line.”
The movement and the
arguments over it show no
sign of abating in the new
“I’m not really sure
where the movement heads
after this, but I know we
made some progress by
getting some funding for
some inner-city programs
and things that we care
about, different social
programs and things like
that,” Broncos linebacker
Brandon Marshall said.
“So, I think we made some
Associated Press Top 10 Stories for 2017
Here is a list of the biggest sports stories in 2017:
1. NFL players who knelt during the national anthem
said they were exercising their free-speech rights and
trying to bring attention to social injustices. Critics,
including the president, said they were disrespecting
the flag, the country and the military. Kaepernick sued
the league when no team signed him.
2. College basketball comes under the microscope
after a federal investigation reveals corruption
involving recruiting practices.
3. Houston Astros win their first World Series,
beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 to lift
the spirits of a city devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
4. In a season that included his four-game suspen-
sion for “Deflategate,” Tom Brady engineers a record-
breaking comeback as the Patriots defeat the Falcons
in first-ever Super Bowl overtime.
5. The president of USA Gymnastics resigns amid a
sexual abuse scandal that includes revelations by some
of the sport’s biggest stars that they were victims.
6. Russia is banned from the Winter Olympics for
a massive doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Games.
7. Clemson mounts a last-second comeback to
beat Alabama for college football’s national title.
8. The United States fails to qualify for soccer’s
World Cup for the first time since 1986. Four-time
champion Italy also fails to qualify.
9. New acquisition Kevin Durant leads the Golden
State Warriors to the NBA championship over the
defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
10. MMA star Conor McGregor steps into the
boxing ring to face undefeated champ Floyd
Mayweather Jr.
SEAHAWKS: Avoided a third straight loss in December for first time since 2010
Continued from 1B
Cliff Avril, forced three turn-
overs. Each led to one of the
touchdowns, highlighted by
Coleman’s 30-yard return to
put Seattle in front for good
in the third quarter.
Seattle (9-6) was elimi-
nated in the NFC West race
because the Los Angeles
Rams beat Jacksonville
27-23 a week after a 42-7
blowout of the Seahawks.
But Seattle still has a shot
at the postseason with a win
at home against Arizona and
an Atlanta loss to Carolina
next Sunday.
“Adversity to me is all the
same,” said receiver Doug
Baldwin, who had one of
the touchdown catches on a
6-yarder for the final margin.
“It’s another mountain that
you have to climb. So a lot
of the guys in this room look
toward things we’ve had
to overcome as motivation
that we can win with the
struggles we’re facing now.”
Things to consider after
the Seahawks avoided a
third straight December
loss for the first time since
2010 — another time they
bounced back because they
made the playoffs at 7-9 and
won a wild-card game at
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth
Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott (4) follows behind
watching as Seattle Seahawks’ Justin Coleman (28)
returns a Prescott interception for a touchdown in the
second half of Sunday’s game in Arlington, Texas.
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis (27) and
Jeff Heath, right, are unable to stop Seattle Seahawks
tight end Jimmy Graham (88) from catching a pass in
the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of Sun-
day’s game in Arlington, Texas.
RETURN: The Cowboys
(8-7) didn’t look much better
offensively with last year’s
NFL rushing leader back
after the ban over domestic
violence allegations. If
they are to contend in 2018
after missing the playoffs
following a 13-3 season in
the debuts of Prescott and
Elliott, the passing game
will have to get back on
Prescott had four inter-
ceptions last year while
setting a rookie record for
passer rating. He has four
pick-sixes this season and
13 interceptions overall,
the most for a Dallas quar-
terback since Tony Romo
matched his career high with
19 in 2012. Elliott’s 97 yards
on 24 carries didn’t make
much difference.
“This year was tough,”
Prescott said. “We know
we are not making the post-
season, but hopefully it will
motivate us.”
Seattle safety Earl Thomas,
going into the last year of
his contract and a candidate
for salary cap savings if he
is cut, visited receiver Dez
Bryant in the Cowboys
locker room after the game
and told Dallas coach Jason
Garrett, “If they kick me to
the curb, come get me.”
“When I say ‘Come get
me,’ I don’t mean now,”
said Thomas, who has made
offseason appearances with
Bryant. “But when Seattle
kicks me to the curb, please,
the Cowboys come get me.
That’s the only place I’d
rather be.”
has two years left on the
$70 million, five-year deal
he signed after his All-Pro
season in 2014. He’s a game
away from going all 16
without a 100-yard game for
the first time in his career.
He’s been prone to drops and
had another sideline tantrum
before a fumble that turned
the game in Seattle’s favor.
“We have a lot of respect
for all the good things that
Dez brings,” owner and
general manager Jerry Jones
said. “He’s come a long
way and made some serious
positive contributions to
the team. I wouldn’t today
get into any prognosis or
evaluation or prediction
about what we’re doing with
a player.”
linebacker Bobby Wagner
played through a lingering
hamstring injury for the
second straight week, and
Carroll said Wright was
sick all weekend. There
figures to be little question
about whether Wagner
plays against the Cardinals.
“Those guys played like
crazy to hold these guys
down,” Carroll said.
WARRIORS: Will go for season sweep of Cavs in Cleveland on January 15
Continued from 1B
last June captured a second
championship in three years
against James and the Cava-
“I forgot all about it,”
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said
with a chuckle.
The teams will see each
other again soon, playing
Jan. 15 in Cleveland.
KD requested James for
his defensive assignment, to
which he explained simply,
“I just like guarding my
The Cavs, having won
six of seven and playing for
the first time since Thursday,
had their run of scoring at
least 100 points end at 26
The Warriors were at
nearly full strength again
aside from Curry, who could
return this week once he goes
through some scrimmages at
Center Zaza Pachulia was
available but didn’t play after
sitting out seven consecutive
games, while Shaun Living-
ston came back after missing
four games with a sore right
Bell — who addressed
the sellout crowd at midcourt
moments before tipoff —
started at center and had eight
points and six rebounds.
The Cavs’ 31.8-percent
shooting was the lowest by a
Warriors opponent in nearly
four years, since Charlotte
shot 31.2 percent from the
field on Feb. 4, 2014.
“We just didn’t make
shots,” Lue said.
Sure, this one felt a little
strange without Curry or
Kyrie Irving, now in Boston.
“Golden State-Cavaliers,
that’s a big game, no matter
who’s playing, who’s out,”
Lue said.
“It will be weird, without
Steph, without Ky, especially
to the
game in
AP Photo/
Tony Avelar
the battles we’ve had over
the last three years. So both
teams look different.”
Warriors coach Steve
Kerr knows just the uniforms
are enough to get everybody
going — and this marked
the third straight Christmas
matchup between the fran-
chises, alternating home
floors based on who won the
“It’s always great to
play the Cavs, they’re an
awesome team,” Kerr said.
“LeBron is so amazing and
it’s so fun to feel the energy
in the building when the two
teams get together. Neither
team will look the same as
we will even a month from
now because Steph and
Isaiah Thomas both should
be back, hopefully they’ll
both be back. ... But it doesn’t
even matter sometimes, just
the two uniforms in the same
building gets people going.”
Cavaliers: Lue isn’t yet
ready to guess when Thomas
will return following his
right hip injury. “He is
progressing very well,” Lue
said. “The most important
thing is that he is getting to
practice and playing 5-on-5
and having a chance to
experience feeling well after
it and not having soreness.”
... Cleveland is 19-3 since
Nov. 11, including 8-3 on the
Warriors: Durant aver-
aged 32 points over his
seven previous Christmas
Day games. ... Golden State
played its fifth consecutive
Christmas game and seventh
in eight. ... The Warriors
were 10 of 37 on 3s after they
went a dismal 3 for 27 from
3-point range in losing to the
Nuggets. ... Kerr began his
pregame session by thanking
all of the arena staff and
Golden State employees for
their service and for working
on the holiday. ... Thomp-
son’s holiday sneakers might
have stood out most: neon
green on the left foot, neon
pink on the right.
Cavaliers: Visit Kings on
Wednesday as they play the
middle contest of a three-
game West trip.
Warriors: Host Utah on