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Panthers' Thomas Davis donates $15K for high school state championship rings

Carolina Panthers defensive linebacker Thomas Davis has made a huge donation to help the Harding University High School football team get its players and coaches championship rings.

>> Read more trending news

Davis confirmed he donated $15,000 to the team in a tweet to WSOC-TV anchor John Paul.

The football team finished its 14-1 season with a 30-22 win over Scotland County in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A State Championship game in Winston-Salem. It’s the first state championship for the team since 1953.

Head football coach Sam Greiner was on the radio Friday morning when Davis called in and said he would help. The football program was trying to figure out ways to purchase rings for its players who couldn't afford them.

The rings cost about $400 apiece, so the school was trying to raise about $20,000. A GoFundMe page was set up to help the team buy rings, which had raised nearly $7,000 by Friday morning.

When Greiner accepted the head coach position two years ago, the football program was one of the worst in the state -- winning just one game in both 2014 and 2015. The players didn't have uniforms until the coach’s church bought them. They still practice on a beat-up baseball field and have to dress behind the stands.

"If someone wrote a movie script about everything that's happened, they would think it's a fairy tale,” Greiner said. “They wouldn't think it's real life.”

WSOC-TV asked what expenses Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools cover and was told it provides for game officials, security and coaching stipends.

Everything else is up to the school, families or a booster club.

Harding doesn't have a booster club, and a majority of the students’ families don't have the money.

"We have kids on our rosters that don't really have homes,” Greiner said. “They really don't know what they're going to eat (from) day to day.”

Greiner and his church created a family before building a state championship-caliber team. The church provides meals before games and Greiner let his quarterback, Braheam Murphy, who was homeless, live with him.

"I have two daughters because I think the good Lord knew I had enough sons, coaching football," Greiner said.

Steelers' JuJu Smith-Schuster takes nearly 200 kids to the movies

Some children in Pittsburgh got to go to the movies with a Steelers star.

>> Watch the news report here

JuJu Smith-Schuster held an advance screening of "Jumanji" with nearly 200 children from the United Way, Bike Pittsburgh and Beyond Type 1.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

"I didn't think there would be this many people here today. It's a great crowd," Smith-Schuster said. "I'm seeing more and more people wearing my jersey and that's exciting."

>> Read more trending news

The children got the chance to meet Smith-Schuster and then watch the movie with him, with free popcorn and drinks.

WATCH: Seahawks' Quinton Jefferson tries to climb into stands after fans throw concessions

After being ejected in Sundays 30-24 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Seahawks defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson jogged toward the tunnel leading to the visiting locker room. 

>> WATCH: Injured Ryan Shazier celebrates Steelers' AFC North win from hospital

Then Jefferson abruptly stopped and took off his helmet after it appeared a drink was thrown at him by a fan in the stands. 

Jefferson moved toward the stands and began yelling when more fans threw concessions at him. 

>> Click here to watch

Seahawks staffers held Jefferson back as he tried to climb into the stands before he ultimately walked away into the locker room. 

>> Read more trending news 

Asked about Jefferson after the game, head coach Pete Carroll said, "I don't even know what happened. ... He just kind of lost it." 

Carroll went on to say, "It's really unfortunate how it ended. We had a chance to get the ball back. We have to be more poised than that." 

Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson also was ejected late in the fourth quarter after officials said he threw a punch at a member of the Jaguars. 

The (8-5) Seahawks return home to CenturyLink Field next Sunday to face the NFC West-leading (9-4) Los Angeles Rams. 

WATCH: Injured Ryan Shazier celebrates Steelers' AFC North win from hospital

The Pittsburgh Steelers' Ryan Shazier has been hospitalized for nearly a week after a hit left him with a spine injury in a Monday night game against the Bengals.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Steelers' Ryan Shazier strapped to board, taken to hospital after scary hit

The team and fans have rallied around the young star linebacker, but other than a tweet and social media comments from family members, he hasn't made any public comments since he was carted off the field in Cincinnati.

That changed Sunday night.

>> Read more trending news

After the Steelers clinched an AFC North title in a thrilling 39-38 victory over the rival Baltimore Ravens, Shazier FaceTimed with his teammates congratulating them on the victory. That moment was caught on social media.

>> See the post here

Teammates said Shazier has been in good spirits despite the injury, and honored him in a number of ways before and during the game.

It looks like he was in even better spirits after it.

Concussion expert irate when Texans’ QB returns after hard hit

Hard hits are not unusual in the NFL, but the one Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage took Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers was particularly scary. When Savage returned to the game moments later, it drew an angry response from the founding CEO of Concussion Legacy Foundation on Twitter.

>> Read more trending news

Savage was hit by 49ers defensive end Elvis Dumervil as he threw an incomplete pass on third down, ESPN reported. The quarterback had trouble getting up and his hands were shaking.

After being evaluated by the Texans’ medical staff, Savage returned to the game three minutes later and threw two incomplete passes before being replaced by T.J. Yates with two minutes left in the half.

Chris Nowinski, a former professional wrestler with the WWE and author of “Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis,” tweeted that he was “disgusted” by Savage’s return to action.

“I would not let my worst enemy go through the 2017 #NFL sideline concussion protocol,” tweeted Nowinski, who is co-director of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.

After taking the hit, Savage spoke with the Texans’ medical staff, ESPN reported. Before the Texans' next offensive series, a team official held Savage's jersey and arm as he tried to return to the field. Savage argued with the team official; after coming off the field a second time, Savage was escorted to the locker room by the team's trainer.

The Texans ruled Savage out with a concussion, ESPN reported.

Let it snow: Bills players, fans brave wintry conditions in Buffalo

Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White did his best to stay warm before Sunday’s game in western New York. 

>> Read more trending news

It wasn’t working.

The Bills were hosting the Indianapolis Colts at New Era Field, and players, coaches and fans were exposed to a strong snowstorm.

During warm-ups Sunday, White did his best to avoid becoming frozen. He danced and moved to stay warm. As a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, it is unlikely that White has ever seen conditions like this: temperatures below 30 degrees when the game began at 1 p.m., winds out of the west at 18 mph, a wind chill that made the temperature feel like 16 degrees, and visibility of less than a third of a mile.

The players weren’t the only ones cold. Fans braved the chilly weather to cheer for the Bills.

And you can’t say the fans in Buffalo don’t have a sense of humor.

Impact of Ryan Shazier's injury felt at Ohio State

As Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier begins recovery from a spinal injury suffered in Cincinnati on Monday night, the former Ohio State University football star is in the thoughts and prayers of players at his alma mater. 

>> Read more trending news

Most of the current Buckeyes who met with reporters Friday night had a similar reaction when asked about Shazier, who had spinal stabilization surgery Thursday

“It’s scary, but that’s the game of football that we play,” OSU receiver Parris Campbell said. “You never know what’s going to happen. Injuries are prone to happen at some time, but that’s just something you’ve got to pray about. It’s scary to watch but you can’t prevent something like that from happening.” 

Fellow receiver Terry McLaurin added: 

“It doesn’t make me not want to play. You’ve got to be conscientious as best as you can. But that can happen to anybody. Everybody knows what they’re signing up for.” 

>> Steelers’ Ryan Shazier has spinal surgery

Offensive lineman Jamarco Jones expressed similar sentiments. 

“I mean, yeah, like I said it’s a part of the game,” Jones said. "I wouldn’t really say it scares me too much. I’ve been playing football all my life. I’ve seen some pretty bad injuries in football. 

“It sucks but I think it’s harder more for the parents and the family than us. I think football players understand the risks we’re taking. It’s more other people outside the locker room who may not necessarily understand why we do this,” Jones said.

“I don’t think too many football players would say watching an injury would deter them really because we know what we’re getting into.” 

Ohio State returned to practice Friday to begin preparations for playing USC in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29. 

Titans, Vols players offer support to bullying victim who made heartbreaking viral video

When a boy from the Knoxville, Tennessee, area was revealed to be a victim of bullying, players for the Tennessee Titans and Vols football teams decided to step up.

>> Read more trending news

A video went viral Friday afternoon of a Knoxville boy detailing the bullying he had endured at school.

>> Watch the heartbreaking clip here

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

University of Tennessee sophomore receiver Tyler Byrd and freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano both pledged to visit the boy and offer support.

Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker responded with his own video and invited the boy and his family to an upcoming game.

>> Click here to watch

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon accused of sexual harassment, reports say

Former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Warren Moon requested a leave of absence from his job as the team’s radio color commentator after he was accused Monday of sexual harassment in a lawsuit, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

>> Read more trending news

Sports Illustrated reported the Seahawks accepted his leave of absence.

The leave was requested after a lawsuit was filed in California by his former executive assistant, Wendy Haskell, accusing him of multiple instances of sexual harassment. Among other allegations, Haskell claimed Moon slipped a drug into her drink and pulled off her bathing suit top during a trip to Mexico, according to The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock.

Haskell said she was demoted after complaining about Moon’s actions, according to USA Today.

Haskell was hired in July by Sports 1 Marketing, a company Moon co-founded, to be Moon’s executive assistant, according to the Post. The job reportedly required her to travel with Moon for speaking engagements, charity events and personal appearances.

It’s not the first time Moon has been accused of misconduct toward women. In 1996, he was acquitted on charges that he abused his now ex-wife Felicia, according to The New York Times.

In 1995, he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit out of court with a then-Minnesota Vikings cheerleader, the Times reported.

Moon has been the Seahawks’ radio color commentator for 13 seasons. He played for the Seahawks toward the end of his career in 1997 and 1998. The Seahawks finished with a 8-8 record both seasons, and Moon made his ninth and final Pro Bowl during the 1997 season.

He signed with the Seahawks after three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. After a career that began with six seasons in the Canadian Football League, and finished with 17 seasons in the NFL, Moon was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He played collegiately in Seattle at the University of Washington.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Tomi Lahren slams Beyoncé, Colin Kaepernick as 'police-hating' after awards ceremony

Colin Kaepernick was this year’s recipient of Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, which he accepted in person from surprise presenter Beyoncé on Tuesday night.

>> Watch the clip here

Prior to the ceremony, Sports Illustrated writer Michael Rosenberg praised Kaepernick for making “his truth known” with his controversial national anthem protests. Explaining the award, Rosenberg wrote, “Each year, SI and the Ali family honor a figure who embodies the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy and has used sports as a platform for changing the world.”

>> WATCH: Beyoncé presents Colin Kaepernick with Sports Illustrated's Muhammad Ali award

This sentiment was reflected in the short introductory speech given by Beyoncé, who said the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback “took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion, only hope to change the world for the better.”

“With or without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people, because my platform is the people,” Kaepernick said.

Several hours later, political commentator Tomi Lahren weighed in on the award with a controversial tweet.

“Police-hating Beyoncé presents police and America-hating Kappy with a ‘legacy’ award. This is how far we’ve fallen. Wow,” she wrote.

>> See the tweet here

Both Kaepernick and Beyoncé have said they neither hate the military nor the police, both praising members of the respective institutions.

Lahren has been a vocal critic of Kaepernick's protests for more than a year.

>> Read more trending news

In March, Lahren was fired from The Blaze, the news outlet where she gained a following for, among other things, speaking about Kaepernick. After settling a legal dispute with her formal employer, she went to work for Fox News.

Read more here.

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