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Cam Newton benched for dress code violation

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton said after the Panthers' loss Sunday that he was benched from starting the game because he didn't wear a tie while traveling with the team to Seattle -- a requirement of coach Ron Rivera.

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"It came down to a dress code matter," Newton said. "I didn't follow dress code, and coach told me I wasn't going to start. I stand by his decision. His position he's in, I follow it."

Newton has been criticized plenty of times for his wardrobe choices.

"Growing up in Atlanta, I always had a sense of what fashion was, a sense of style. My parents always talked about the importance of making a first impression, and that's stayed with me," Newton said in a 2013 Esquire interview. 

One of the most notable pieces in his outfits has been his hats. They have even spawned their own hashtag, #CamCaps.

These are some of his looks at the podium this season:

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/fall/embed?header=none&amp;border=false&amp;template=slideshow" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/fall.js?header=none&amp;border=false&amp;template=slideshow"></script> [View the story "Cam Newton's outfits" on Storify]

Pro footballer runs to stands to give mom the ball after pick-six

Chiefs safety Eric Berry said he had a hard time keeping his emotions in check during his first game back in Atlanta as a professional football player. Those sentiments certainly didn’t seem to affect his play.

Berry, the former Atlanta-area high school standout, returned an interception for a touchdown and ran back a pick on a two-point conversion attempt for the decisive points in the 29-28 victory.

“I shed a few tears before the game, I shed a few during the game, and I shed a few after,” Berry said. “I think I held it together pretty good but it was a lot of emotions so I just tried to contain them and let it show through my plays.”

>> Read more trending stories 

It was Berry’s first time back in the city since he received chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014. Berry has been cancer-free for two years.

Berry’s pick-six staked the Chiefs to a 20-13 lead late in the first half. Berry broke for the ball as Matt Ryan tried to pass to Taylor Gabriel and then ran along the left sideline for a 37-yard touchdown.

Berry said extensive film study with Chiefs assistant Emmitt Thomas helped him anticipate the play. After scoring the touchdown, Berry handed the ball to his mother in the stands.

Proud Parents.Posted by Eric Berry on Sunday, December 4, 2016

“I made my mind up before the game that I was going to give her the ball when I got it,” Berry said. “I try to give her whatever. It won’t amount to the things she has given me, and my dad as well. There were so many nights that I would cry on their shoulder, trying to make sense of everything that was going on, and they just kept telling me to keep pressing on and that I would be back to play the game the way I want to play.”

Berry ended up with the ball again on the failed two-point conversion by the Falcons. Similar to his first interception, Berry broke for the ball as Ryan delivered, this time stepping in front of Falcons tight end Austin Hooper.

There was no official yardage on the non-timed down but Berry caught the ball near the goal line and ran untouched to the opposite end zone.

“It was a poor play on my part,” Ryan said. “I expected a combination coverage to the outside and Eric Berry did a good job of coming down and going to the tight end.”

Read more about the game at ajc.com.

Man suspected of killing ex-NFL player Joe McKnight released without charges

The man suspected of shooting and killing former NFL player Joe McKnight on Thursday afternoon was released overnight without being charged, authorities in Louisiana said on Friday.

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Ronald Gasser, 54, is accused of killing the former NFL running back in what authorities characterized as a possible road rage incident in Terrytown.

"Gasser was released overnight and has not been charged as of yet," Cpl. John Fortunato, of the Jefferson Parrish Sheriff's Office, said in a statement to The Advocate. "The matter remains under investigation." 

Fortunato told The Times-Picayune that investigators are working with the district attorney's office to determine whether any charges will be filed against Gasser.

Authorities were called around 2:45 p.m. Thursday after McKnight, 28, was shot at an intersection in Terrytown. Officers found him with multiple gunshot wounds and attempted to resuscitate him.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, and deputies took Gasser into custody. Authorities said he remained on the scene until law enforcement officers arrived and surrendered a gun to deputies.

Sheriff Newell Normand told The Times-Picayune that McKnight did not have a gun.

A witness, who was not identified, told The Advocate that she saw an armed man prior to the shooting and heard as several shots were fired. She saw the shot man wounded in the street and told The Advocate that he shouted "I told you don't (expletive) with me."

The man fired another shot after shouting, a witness told The Times-Picayune. Before the shooting, McKnight was attempting to apologize to the man, the witness said.

McKnight played three seasons for the New York Jets and one with the Kansas City Chiefs. He spent this season in the Canadian Football League, playing two games for the Edmonton Eskimos and three for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He ran for 150 yards against Toronto on Oct. 15 in his Saskatchewan debut.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lawsuit claims Johnny Manziel broke nose of Texas bar employee

An Austin, Texas, bar employee has filed a lawsuit accusing troubled Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of punching him in the face and breaking his nose.

According to a brief summary of the lawsuit filed Monday in Travis County, the man was working as a bar-back when Manziel demanded that he prepare drinks. The man informed Manziel he could not fulfill his order because he was not a bartender.

Later in the evening, a member of Manziel’s group at a private party overheard the man talking about Manziel to a different customer. According to the lawsuit, Manziel learned of the conversation and then punched the plaintiff in the face, breaking his nose. Manziel ran out the bar’s back exit before police arrived.

>> Read more trending stories

Attorneys for the plaintiff could not be reached for comment.

This marks yet another legal scrape for Manziel, who recently reached an agreement to dismiss charges in a domestic violence case stemming from an alleged attack on his ex-girlfriend. Colleen Crowley told police that Manziel struck her several times and ruptured her eardrum during a February altercation in Fort Worth. Crowley alleged that Manziel threatened to kill both of them.

Manziel, who won the 2012 Heisman Trophy in his redshirt freshman season at Texas A&M, did not play in the NFL this season. The Cleveland Browns parted ways with Manziel over the offseason amid reports of him continuing to party even after he attended a rehabilitation clinic and vowed to get sober.

WATCH: Colin Kaepernick booed in Miami after praising Fidel Castro

In August, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took heat for appearing at a press conference in a shirt featuring Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

>> Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro dead at 90

>> Watch the video here

With Castro’s death on Friday and a 49ers game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, that choice has attracted new attention. In a Wednesday conference call, Miami Herald reporter and Cuban-American Armando Salguero called out Kaepernick for the shirt, asking:

“Colin, one of the times that you made that stance about fighting systematic oppression, you wore a Malcolm X shirt… Are you not aware that Fidel Castro is one of the 20th Century’s biggest oppressors of people?”

>> Fidel Castro dies: Florida leaders hope Cuba knows more freedom

Kaepernick praised Castro’s record on criminal justice reform and literacy achievements, but did not acknowledge the thousands of Cubans who died in firing squads and extrajudicial killings under the regime. Many Cubans who fled to the United States did so to escape Castro and his forces.

>> Read more trending stories

Video captured Kaepernick’s cold reception from Miami fans, presumably a reaction to his stance on Castro and Cuba. San Francisco would go on to lose to the Dolphins by 7 points.

>> Fidel Castro dies: Exiles recall pain with sorrow, freedom with joy

After Sunday’s loss, Colin Kaepernick’s season record is 0-6.

Bud Light giving away Super Bowl tickets for life

As part of a sweepstakes promotion, Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light's parent company, is offering beer-loving football fans a chance to win Super Bowl tickets for life.  

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"All season long, Bud Light has celebrated the most passionate and dedicated fans that the NFL has to offer, and as the playoffs approach, we want to see fandom turned up another notch," Anna Rogers, director of NFL partnerships and strategy at Anheuser-Busch, said in a statement. "Most NFL fans likely won't see one Super Bowl in their lifetime, so we figured what better way to reward one of the NFL's biggest fans than by giving him or her tickets to the big game for the rest of their life?"

Bud Light will place 37,000 gold cans in select 18-, 24- and 30-packs of 12-ounce Bud Light through Jan. 13. The packages will be sold across the country in all states except California.

Those who find a gold can can enter the contest by uploading a photo of it and using the hashtags #SBTix4Life and #Sweeps.

Six weekly winners will be selected to win a pair of season tickets to their favorite NFL team.

One grand prize winner will receive a pair of Super Bowl tickets for life, up to 51 years.

The grand prize winner will be selected the week of Jan. 16.

Read more at Anheuser-Busch.

Super Bowl Champions are remembered forever. But your memory will be better than most. Find a Bud Light Gold Super Bowl LI Can and upload a photo with #SBTIX4LIFE #SWEEPS and you could win Super Bowl tickets for life. Go to www.budlight.com to see more rules. A photo posted by Bud Light (@budlight) on Nov 25, 2016 at 7:45am PST

Did Tony Romo concede the Cowboys QB job to Dak Prescott?

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback controversy may be over, and Tony Romo might have said so himself.

In a news conference Tuesday, Romo admitted that Prescott had earned the starting QB job, and Romo said he would support that decision.

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Romo recently recovered from a back injury, and during his recovery, Prescott helped lead the team to an 8-1 start on the season. While Romo might be the better quarterback, many feel that Prescott is the hot hand and that the Cowboys shouldn’t make changes while things are working.

Whether it means that Romo stays with the Cowboys is yet to be seen, but it looks like Romo conceded the race to Prescott on Tuesday afternoon.

>> Watch the statement here

Tampa Bay receiver sits during national anthem to protest Trump election

Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans sat during the national anthem before the Buccaneers’ NFL game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, saying he’s discouraged by the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

>> Read more trending stories

Evans, 23, a third-year pro out of Texas A&M, said his sit-down protest was done because he believes electing “a reality television star” as president is “not a good look for America.”

The protest took place during the “Salute to Service” military tribute the Bucs presented Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. The event included an oath of enlistment at halftime and jets from nearby MacDill Air Force Base flying over the stadium after the anthem, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

“I don't want to disrespect the veterans or anything. The men and women that serve this country, I'm forever indebted to them,” Evans told The Associated Press. “But the things that have been going on in America lately, I'm not going to stand for that.

“I told myself, ‘If this happens, then America is not right right now,’” said Evans, who had four catches for 66 yards in Tampa Bay's 36-10 victory against the Bears. “I said it a long time ago. When he ran I thought it was a joke. The joke continues.”

It was unclear whether Evans voted in Tuesday's election.

In a statement Sunday night, the Buccaneers said the organization is “deeply committed to the military and honoring the great men and women that have dedicated their lives and have made great sacrifices to insure all the tremendous freedoms we have in this great country.”

"We encourage all members of our organization to respectfully honor our flag during the playing of the national anthem," the team said in the release. "We also recognize every individual's constitutional right to freedom of speech, which is crucial to the American principles we cherish.”

Evans said he’ll continue to sit for the anthem as long as Trump is president-elect.

“I'm not a political person that much, but I have common sense,” Evans told the AP. “And I know when something is not right.”

Trump protesters gather outside NFL game in Baltimore

Thursday night’s NFL game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns was impacted when protesters marching against the results of Tuesday's presidential election briefly caused M&T Bank Stadium to be “locked down” for several minutes.

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The protesters did not cause an interruption in the game, won 28-7 by the Ravens. Team officials confirmed that two gates were closed when protesters arrived at the stadium, but only for about three minutes.

“Once there was no interruption, [the gates] were opened in short order," Ravens publicity director Kevin Byrne told Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun.

The protest in Baltimore is one of several events nationwide against President-elect Donald Trump. It began around 6 p.m. in north Baltimore, and by game time at 8:30, hundreds of protesters were outside M&T Stadium, WJZ reported. 

The protests did not end until about 10:30 p.m. There were no arrests, but two people were detained at one point, WJZ reported. The crowd eventually left the stadium and moved toward nearby Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles, WJZ reported.

In 2015, Baltimore was the site of another protest that affected a sporting event. The death of Freddie Gray sparked riots in the city, leading to the postponement of an Orioles game against the Chicago White Sox. The game was eventually played, but in an empty stadium for fan safety.

Colin Kaepernick tells reporters he's not voting

After starting a movement by kneeling during the national anthem, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick told reporters that he is not voting in the 2016 election.

Matt Barrows, who covers the 49ers for the Sacramento Bee, posted the news on Twitter.

>> Read more trending stories

Kaepernick began his kneeling protest during the preseason, and has continued it during the regular season, with other NFL players and athletes joining him. Kaepernick knelt to protest police brutality of minorities.

>>Did Tom Brady support Trump?

The movement that Kaepernick sparked has been controversial, with some people supporting him and others denouncing his actions as unpatriotic and disrespectful.

In the past, Kaepernick has been critical of both Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, telling reporters that it was embarrassing that Clinton and Trump were the candidates.

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