The Steelers’ crazy victory Sunday night might end up being a huge win. Pittsburgh seemed to be dead late Sunday, down by two possessions in the fourth quarter, with a defense the Ravens’ running game was shredding. They had an emotional week, playing six days after linebacker Ryan Shazier suffered a harrowing spinal injury. But somehow, behind 500 yards from Ben Roethlisberger, more than 200 of which went to Antonio Brown, the Steelers pulled it out, 39-38.
It clinched the AFC North for Pittsburgh. More important, it helped protect their first-round bye. The Steelers will play the Patriots next week in a showdown that will decide the top seed. If the Steelers had lost, and for most of the second half it seemed like they would, they would have been in danger of falling into a tie with the Jaguars and out of the second seed. Now, their bye is pretty secure.
Smith-Pelly did not protest during the anthem before the Capitals game on Monday.
This isn’t the first time that the anthem protests crossed into a league known for its more conservative fan base. Last month, Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first Major League Baseball player to participate in the protest.
I’m kneeling, Maxwell told reporters after his first anthem protest, for the people who don’t have a voice.
The NFL declined to comment Sunday through a spokesman.
No Club, its employees or agents shall enter into any agreement, express or implied, with the NFL or any other Club, its employees or agents to restrict or limit individual Club decision-making, the CBA says, adding that applies to whether to negotiate or not to negotiate with any player and whether to offer or not to offer a Player Contract to any player, among other things.
The CBA also says: The failure by a Club or Clubs to negotiate, to submit Offer Sheets, or to sign contracts with Restricted Free Agents or Transition Players, or to negotiate, make offers, or sign contracts for the playing services of such players or Unrestricted Free Agents, shall not, by itself or in combination only with evidence about the playing skills of the player(s) not receiving any such offer or contract, satisfy the burden of proof set forth бн above.