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    NFL Officially Establishes Owner-Player ‘Social Justice Committee’

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    The National Football League, just a little more than a week away from its championship game, announced that it has officially established an owner-player “social justice committee” designed to create a “dialogue” that will help the league better address issues of race relations.

    The announcement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press conference, is “just the start” of building a greater awareness of — and dialogue around — political issues at every level of the league.

    “We feel that we are going to make significant progress as we have more meetings, as we get more focused on our efforts, it’s going to actually come to life,” Goodell said. “And frankly, we will get better as the days go by.”

    The committee will reportedly “focus on education, economic development, community and police relations and the criminal justice system,” and they’ve already begun work on a kickoff initiative called “Let’s Listen Together,” which will utilize social media to highlight players’ work on “equality issues” off the field. – READ MORE

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    The National Football League has rejected a Super Bowl advertisement from American Veterans urging people to stand for the national anthem.

    The nation’s largest veterans service organization had been invited by the NFL to place an ad in the Super Bowl LII program. AMVET’s advertisement included a two-word message – “#PleaseStand.”

    “It’s a simple, polite request that represents the sentiment of our membership, particularly those whose missing or paralyzed limbs preclude standing,” wrote National Commander Marion Polk in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell. – READ MORE

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    Two NFL Network executives, Mike Mandt and Dan Dieffenbach, are out according to network spokesperson Alex Riethmiller, who declined any further comment. But sources tell Deadspin the pair’s exit is related to an internal investigation into reports of sexual harassment at the network, being overseen by the law firm Akin Gump.

    Mandt was the executive producer of original content and Dieffenbach was the coordinating producer of features. According to sources, they were first put on extended administrative leave last month and their last day was Friday. – READ MORE

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    The trial of former NFL player Monty Grow began today in Miami, more than a year after he was first indicted for helping to engineer a scheme that netted more than $20 million from a government program that helps military members and veterans receive health care.

    Grow was indicted last November on more than 50 counts of health care fraud, money laundering, causing the misbranding of drugs while held for sale, and conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive health care kickbacks.

    His company, MGTEN, so named for his initials and his jersey number from his playing days at the University of Florida, specialized in making and selling compounded medications, or individually mixed medicines that are generally not otherwise commercially available.  Grow is accused of taking personal kickbacks off those prescriptions—and setting up others to go to his co-conspirators and even some to the patients, to keep them asking for MGTEN prescriptions. Tricare paid MGTEN a total of $40 million for those drugs over the years, and Grow himself took $20 million in kickbacks. – READ MORE

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