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  • Bengals owner Mike Brown says President Donald Trump’s numerous tweets attacking NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem have prolonged the issue Zach Parise Jersey , which he sees as one of the league’s biggest distractions.

    Brown noted at the team’s annual preseason luncheon Tuesday that the NFL and the players’ union are trying to develop an anthem policy that will hopefully please not only owners and players, but fans and the president, too. He said the president’s tweets have worked against finding a resolution to the issue.

    ”I think that worked against us,” Brown said. ”I think it stirred the pot, it got people looking at it unfavorably, and he has worked that issue for, I suppose, political reasons. It is what it is. It’s beyond my pay grade.”

    Trump has attacked the NFL and players who protested social injustice by kneeling during the ”Star Spangled Banner.” The league adopted a policy in May that would fine clubs if their players protest on the field, but gave them the option to stay in the locker room during the anthem.

    The issue flared again last week when the Miami Dolphins developed a policy that would leave players subject to suspensions, prompting the NFL to try to find a solution with the players’ union. Trump tweeted again that players should be suspended for kneeling Youth Pavel Zacha Jersey , and he challenged Commissioner Roger Goodell to make a stand.

    Brown said he’s seen Trump only once in person. They were in the same courtroom in the 1980s when Trump – then owner of the USFL’s New Jersey Generals – sued the NFL.

    ”Unlike some of the (NFL) owners you read about in the newspaper, I have never met Donald Trump,” Brown said.

    Brown said he considered implementing an anthem policy for the Bengals before the league and the union decided to try for a joint resolution last week.

    ”Yes, I have thoughts on it,” Brown said. ”Yes, we had ways of handling it. I’m not so sure that wasn’t pretty good, at least compared to others. But that’s as much as I’m going to say about this, and let’s get on to something else.”

    Brown’s team also is involved in a grievance filed on behalf of free agent safety Eric Reid, who met with the Bengals but wasn’t offered a contract. Brown reportedly asked Reid during their visit whether he would continue to kneel during the anthem.

    The grievance claims that Reid wasn’t signed by any team because of his anthem protests. Brown said he was scheduled to meet with the team’s lawyers on Wednesday to discuss the case. He was surprised it quickly became an issue.

    ”It was a quick-forming thunderhead,” Brown said. ”I didn’t expect it.”

    Brown is disappointed that the debate over anthem protests has lingered into another season.

    ”It should never have developed into the issue it has Authentic Joe Pavelski Jersey ,” he said. ”Yes, it bothers me that we sit here today talking about the anthem issue.”

    The Bengals open camp this week coming off a second straight losing season. They haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest streak of postseason futility in NFL history. Brown chose to bring back coach Marvin Lewis for a 16th season even though he has an NFL-record 0-7 in the playoffs.

    Brown said he’s concerned not only about his team’s challenges but also the challenges that the NFL faces with the focus on concussions and pregame protests.

    ”We have distractions,” Brown said. ”We have to get beyond them. We have to get beyond the anthem issue. We have to get beyond the concussion issue. There are other things. We’re about football. That’s what fans want. And this other stuff turns off everybody. We have to get away from it somehow, and it’s a challenge for us to do that.”

    Duncan Keith and the Chicago Blackhawks did their part to spoil the St. Louis’ playoff chances.

    The star defenseman scored a power-play goal with 8.5 seconds left and the Blackhawks beat St. Louis 4-3 on Wednesday night.

    Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist, Andreas Martinsen and Blake Hillman also scored, and Jean-Francois Berube made 30 saves. The Blackhawks beat the Blues for the first time in three meetings this season.

    ”We’re trying to win the game,” Keith said. ”At the end of the day, it’s a bigger game for them but I thought we did a good job of matching their intensity and for us it’s fun to play in a game like that. … There was something on the line so it was a little easier to get the fire going little bit.”

    Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn each had a goal and an assist for the Blues. They have lost four straight to fall a point behind idle Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

    Robert Bortuzzo also scored for the Blues, and Jake Allen made 22 saves in his 14th straight start.

    ”We played terrible in the third from myself out Patrick Roy Jersey ,” Allen said. ”It’s unacceptable especially at home against a team that really has nothing to play for except beat us.”

    Hillman scored a short-handed goal, his first in the NHL, midway through the second to cut the Blues’ lead to 3-2. He is the fifth Blackhawk to score their first career goal this season.

    ”It’s probably the hardest one-timer I’ve ever taken in my life,” said Hillman, who was playing in his second NHL game. ”I closed my eyes and it went through a couple of bodies and luckily Allen didn’t see it.”

    DeBrincat tied it at 3 at 8:30 of the third with an unassisted goal, before Keith found the net for the first time in 22 games.

    ”It’s been awhile since he scored obviously, but we did some good things as the game progressed and drew the penalty and got a break,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

    Bortuzzo opened the scoring at 4:16 of the first period with his fourth goal of the season.

    Martinsen tied it for Chicago at 8:57 with his first goal of the season, firing a wrist shot that trickled between Allen’s legs after the Blues failed to clear the puck twice.

    Schenn regained the lead for the Blues just 47 seconds into the second period, putting home a rebound from Vince Dunn’s shot from the high slot. Schenn’s 27th goal is a career high.

    Tarasenko made it 3-1 at 5:44 of the second. St. Louis took advantage of a Chicago defensive line change and Schenn sprung Tarasenko for a breakaway.

    FANCY STICK WORK

    Just 52 seconds into the game Womens Travis Hamonic Jersey , Jaden Schwartz had a wrap-around attempt into a wide-open net, but Keith got his stick on the goal line to block the puck until Berube could get his glove down. The play was reviewed and it was determined that the puck did not cross the line.

    ”I just tried to do what I could there to get everything I could, all the pressure on my stick, because I knew he had some momentum coming around there and was trying to wrap it around, the lane wasn’t there,” Keith said. ”A little luck too in that regard, but Berube ended up getting over there and taking the pressure off.”

    NOTES: Blues D Alex Pietrangelo played in his 615th career game, one shy of Bob Plager for second-most by a defenseman in franchise history. … The Blackhawks will honor Hall of Famer Stan Mikita before Friday night’s home game against the Blues. Mikita’s grandsons will take the ice on his behalf during the national anthem and highlights of Mikita’s career will be played. … Blues prospect G Ville Husso (San Antonio) was named to the 2017-2018 AHL All-Rookie team. … Blackhawks prospect D Adam Clendening was selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week after scoring two goals and five assists for the week ending April 2.

    UP NEXT

    The teams will meet again Friday night in Chicago.

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