The anthem protests in the NFL have made Steven Seagal hopping mad—even though he is now a Russian citizen. Speaking from Moscow, the actor defended President Trump and said the protests were "outrageous" and "disgusting," Variety reports. "Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but I don't agree that they should hold the United States of America or the world hostage by taking a venue where people are tuning in to watch a football game and imposing their political view," Seagal said in an interview that went viral in part due to the actor's appearance, which commenters likened to a Bond villain or "a badly rendered computer game character from 1996." In other developments:
- New York Giants guard Justin Pugh says he has had a change of heart about the NFL protests after initially condemning Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the anthem last year, the New York Daily News reports. "I posted about it and talked about it but now realizing he's not trying to disrespect the military, he's not trying to disrespect the flag or the United States, he's trying to raise questions to start a conversation, and that's definitely something I can get on board with," Pugh says.
- Eric Reid, who was one of the first to join Kaepernick's protest last year, says the former 49er feels the original message about racial inequality has been lost, ESPN reports. "He wishes that this many people were involved last year. I don't think the narrative would have went in as many directions as it went if we had more solidarity," Reid says.
- DirectTV has been offering refunds to NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers. Analysts say this is a risky move that could cost the company if it is seen to be siding with Trump. "Politically this could be interpreted as DirecTV agreeing with Trump that the issue will ultimately be determined by the fans and their wallets," Diffusion Group analyst Michael Greeson tells USA Today.
- Every Steeler apart from former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva stayed in the tunnel during the anthem last Sunday, but center Maurkice Pouncey says 100% of players will be standing on the field before the game against Baltimore on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. "As far I know it’s 100%," he says. "We’re going to go out there as the Pittsburgh Steelers. If not, you’ll have something to talk about."
- Villeanueva now has one of the best-selling NFL jerseys, though he says standing alone was an "embarrassing" mix-up. He says he plans to donate all proceeds to military nonprofits.
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