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Bleacher Report/Courtesy of April Parkerson

Houston Youth Football Team Receives Death Threats For Their National Anthem Protests

“This is something that our boys are going to remember for the rest of their lives,” Parkerson said. “They’ll know that they can fight for what they believe in.”

Everything's bigger in Texas. That statement holds true when it comes to football especially. Texas takes their high school (and even younger) football very seriously. In the state's southeast region, a team made up of 11-12-year-old middle schoolers took a knee prior to the start of their Sept. 10 game along with their coaches, not knowing what would come of it.

The Beaumont (small oil town east of Houston) Bulls protest went viral, resulting in threats to the kids and coaches, along with the Beaumont Bulls' board threatening to cancel the boys’ season. Through all of it, the team continued its protest of the national anthem for social injustice.

“How can you not feel some kind of way about someone on the news getting shot down by police?”  a coach said speaking on the murder of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Okla. to Bleacher Report. “How can you be so comfortable with injustice that you don’t want to do anything?”

“Since Colin Kaepernick took a stand, we wanted to do the same,” a sixth-grader said in an interview with B/R. “We wanted to stand against racism and injustice.”

Bulls head coach, Rah Rah Barber, went to the parents of the kids and the league to ask for approval of the protest, which they received. As media coverage arrived, so did the death threats to the kids over Facebook.

That is when things took a turn going into their Sept. 17 game. The board apparently demanded the team stop their protest or risk banishment from the league. According to the coaches they were ambushed. The kids wanted to continue their protest, and the coaches allowed it.

Coach Barber was then suspended for the rest of the season in what was the most controversial board decision the league has ever made, citing that the coach lost control of his team by allowing the team to protest, along with parents speaking to the media.

“This is something that our boys are going to remember for the rest of their lives,” Parkerson, who is a team parent, said. “They’ll know that they can fight for what they believe in.”

The Beaumont Bulls plan to continue their protest every game the rest of the way.

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LaVar Ball Is Requesting $3,500 From Anyone Planning On Recording Son During Tournament

As we know, LaVar Ball goes above and beyond in terms of making sure his sons become the superstar basketball players he wants them to be. His youngest son LaMelo is currently playing for SPIRE Institute in Ohio, and they have an upcoming tournament taking place in Kentucky. Mr. Ball is reportedly asking outlets to pay $3,500 at the door to videotape his son playing.

"All games are free to film except for the Spire Institute games,” an email reportedly sent by LaVar read. “To film either of the 2 Spire Institute games, you will have to present $3,500 at the gate, as per rules of the Big Baller Brand media credential… If you accept these conditions, you may present this email at the gate as proof of our approval where you will be given a media pass.”

While a few Internet folks are scoffing at the idea of having to pay that sort of money, others are pointing out the fanbase of LaMelo, stating that there are outlets who certainly would (and have) paid the fee for the chance to record LaMelo and SPIRE moments from the game. According to Forbes, this is one of many revenue streams for the Ball family.

"The Ball Sports Group in November entered into a partnership with FloSports Inc. to live stream five SPIRE games featuring LaMelo, beginning with one on Tuesday (Jan. 14) at Brush High School in Ohio," the site reports. "FloSports Inc. agreed to pay $5,000 per game, according to the contract which was signed by Foster."

Here's the email telling video outlets they must pay $3,500 to film LaMelo and @SpireBasketball this weekend in Kentucky.

— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) January 17, 2019

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Louisville International Airport To Be Renamed After Muhammad Ali

Louisville, Kentucky's hometown hero will have an airport named after him.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Wednesday (Jan. 16) that the Louisville International Airport will be renamed after Muhammad Ali.

"Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown, and fortunately, that is our great city of Louisville," Fischer said.

"Muhammad became one of the most well-known people to ever walk the earth and has left a legacy of humanitarianism and athleticism that has inspired billions of people."

The city is hoping to finalize the renaming of the Louisville International Airport to the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport by June. The news was shared a day before the two year anniversary of Ali's 2016 death. Ali would've been 77.

Officials with the Louisville airport are currently working on receiving approval from Ali's family, however, they say an agreement is near. The decision for the rename to hopefully increase tourism.

"It is important that we, as a city, further champion The Champ's legacy," the mayor added. "And the airport renaming is a wonderful next step."

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Gladys Knight To Sing National Anthem At Super Bowl LIII

As reported by the National Football Leauge (NFL) and CBS, Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem at the 53rd Super Bowl event. The Motown legend will usher in the final game of the season in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

"I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta," Knight said. "The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year."

In more recent years, Beyonce, Diana Ross, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Natalie Cole, and many more have performed the anthem on this stage.

Alongside Knight, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), will have a performer and deaf activist by the name of Aaron Loggins sign the National Anthem and "America The Beautiful."

Super Bowl LIII will take place Feb. 3 at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The playoffs are currently underway.

Atlanta, I’m coming home! #NFL #SBLIII

— Gladys Knight (@MsGladysKnight) January 17, 2019

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