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10 former NFL players have been charged with defrauding a healthcare program set up to reimburse out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The ten NFL players, including ex-Redskins star Clinton Portis, face 20 years in prison if they are convicted of defrauding the league's healthcare program.

U.S. Justice Department prosecutors allege the players defrauded the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan. The healthcare plan was established in 2006 to provide tax-free reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical expenses.

$3.4 million was paid out in 2017 and 2018 to former players, their wives and dependents for a total of $10 million. Some of the former players claimed they suffered from CTE-type brain injuries during their playing days.

Other players submitted claims to be reimbursed for expensive medical equipment like oxygen chambers, cryotherapy machines, and electromagnetic therapy devices costing up to $50,000 each.

The alleged ringleaders accepted $10,000 in kickbacks from players involved in the scheme.

The Justice Department announced the indictments during a press conference on Thursday, Dec. 12.

Other former players charged in the scheme include Carlos Rogers, Robert McCune, John Eubanks, Tamarick Vanover, Ceandris "C.C." Brown, James Butler, Frederick Bennett and Etrick Pruitt.

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Colin Kaepernick made enemies in high places after his latest PR stunt. According to Complex.com, music mogul Jay-Z is "disappointed" that Kaepernick moved the location of his much-hyped workout in Atlanta on Saturday.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Jay-Z, the NFL's social justice consultant, arranged the workout to get critics off Jay-Z's back.

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According to Complex, "a source close to the situation" informed them that Jay-Z is "disappointed" that Kaepernick turned his workout into a publicity stunt.

Kaepernick, 32, arrived in Atlanta on Thursday to prepare for his big workout at the Atlanta Falcons' training facility in Flowery Branch, Ga. He last played in the NFL three years ago when he opted out of a contract with the 49ers.

All went well until three hours before the start of the private workout, when Kaepernick's camp informed the NFL that the workout was moved to Drew High School in Riverdale, Ga, about 60 miles away. The news media was invited to attend.

Kaepernick showed up at the school wearing a black t-shirt with "KUNTA KINTE" on the front. Kunta Kinte is a character in the critically acclaimed television series, Roots, based on the 1976 novel by American author Alex Haley.

The NFL abruptly announced that Kaepernick was "no-show" at the workout. The league said 25 teams attended the workout. But only eight teams showed up at the high school to watch the moved workout.

Kaepernick's people responded, saying the NFL asked the unemployed quarterback to sign a "liability waiver" that protects the league from further legal action.

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Kaepernick, right, and Eric Reid, left, settled a grievance against the NFL and team owners for blacklisted him after he led protests by kneeling during the National Anthem.

The reaction from the sports world was swift, with many saying Kaepernick was finished. ESPN host Stephen A. Smith said Kaepernick doesn't want to play in the NFL. He "wants to be a martyr."

In a video, Smith said:

"This man wanted a chance. Twenty-five teams show up in Georgia at the Atlanta Falcons practice facility—state of the art facility, NFL personnel, equipment, video, everything, and what does Colin Kaepernick do? Because of some issue with a liability waiver, Colin Kaepernick wants to change the venue. You don't want to work. You just want to make noise and you want to control the narrative."

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Colin Kaepernick is in Atlanta preparing for his big workout for the NFL on Saturday. 13 NFL teams have confirmed their scouts will attend the workout at the Atlanta Falcons training facility.

NFL wannabes, such as Migos rapper Quavo Huncho, pictured left, reportedly reached out to Kaepernick in hopes of participating in the workout.

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Unemployed wide receiver Antonio Brown (pictured) is also eager to catch passes from Kaepernick during Saturday's workout.

Brown, 31, was sent packing by the New England Patriots after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

The workout was reportedly arranged by rapper Jay-Z, the NFL's social justice consultant and halftime entertainment coordinator.

ESPN's Josina Anderson said the teams she spoke with were unaware of the workout until Kaepernick tweeted about it earlier this week.

A memo from the NFL left teams scrambling to rearrange their schedules at short notice.

13 teams, including the Falcons, Browns, Dolphins, Lions and Giants, confirmed their attendance. But one team that has no plans to send a scout is the Dallas Cowboys.

When asked by 105.3FM the Fan if the Cowboys were sending a scout, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made it clear the Cowboys wanted nothing to do with Kaepernick.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

"That's not correct," said Jones, who is close friends with President Trump. "We're not going to have anybody there."

The NFL will provide tapes of Kaepernick's workout and interview to all 32 teams. Jones conceded that his scouts may look at the tapes if necessary. "We'll look at the tape if we need information there."

Kaepernick last played in an NFL game in 2016. No other team showed interest in him after he opted out of renewing his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

Insiders say Kaepernick's inflated ego will not allow him to settle for a backup quarterback spot.

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Colin Kaepernick is preparing for his big workout in Atlanta this weekend, but he won't know which teams will be in attendance ahead of time.

The washed up quarterback was given a second chance at reviving his career by rap mogul Jay-Z, the NFL's social justice consultant who arranged the "highly unusual" workout, to be held at the Atlanta Falcons training facility near Atlanta on Saturday, Nov. 15.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFL will not release the names of team executives, scouts and coaches who will be attending Kaepernick's workout.

Earlier in the week, it was reported that the NFL would release the names of teams planning to attend, but an NFL source said few coaches and scouts have responded to the NFL's memo to attend the workout.

According to Vladtv.com, the Falcons and Detroit Lions are the only two the franchises who are confirmed to be in attendance at Saturday's workout.

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After Kaepernick was demoted to the bench by the 49ers in 2016, he suddenly found his calling as an activist and began kneeling during the National Anthem. When he opted out of a $110 million contract with the 49ers, he couldn't find work with any other team.

Kaepernick filed a grievance with the NFL and owners, claiming they were preventing him from earning a living wage. He settled with the league for a reported $10 million.

Now that he wants to play for the same owners he accused of racism, they are not enthusiastic about enabling his delusions of grandeur.

A source with an NFC team told ESPN's Josina Anderson: "We have nothing to lose by attending Kaepernick's workout, but I still think for us it would just be an information-gathering trip."

Anderson also spoke with the Browns, who have no plans to send a scout. "I'm told the #Browns are currently not planning to attend Colin Kaepernick's workout Saturday," she tweeted. She added that a Ravens coach told her, "he'd fit us as a player, but we have our guys."

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

According to published reports, Jay-Z, pictured with his boss NFL commish Roger Goodell, is responsible for arranging the private workout to help facilitate Kaepernick's return to the NFL - which Kap previously claimed was a racist organization.

Jay-Z was heavily criticized for partnering with the league as a social justice consultant and halftime entertainment coordinator.

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Jermaine Whitehead was released by the Cleveland Browns hours after he went ballistic and issued death threats on Twitter.com following a team loss on Sunday.

The former Browns defensive back went on a profanity-laced Twitter rant that included racist language and death threats after the team lost to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Whitehead targeted Browns TV and radio broadcaster Dustin Fox after Fox tweeted "Whitehead's effort tackling today is a joke."

Whitehead reacted by calling Fox a "cracker" and warned the reporter not to "get smoked", which is urban slang for getting shot.

Whitehead, 26, also issued death threats to Browns fans and offered one fan a place to meet him to fight.

According to Yahoo Sports, the Athletic's Zac Jackson reported that Whitehead was still wearing his Browns uniform when he lashed out on Twitter.com and that a team public-relations staffer separated him from media in the postgame locker room, where Whitehead did not speak with reporters.

Twitter suspended Whitehead's account and the team released a statement addressing Whitehead's tantrum.

"Jermaine Whitehead's social media posts following today's game were totally unacceptable and highly inappropriate," the statement reads. "We immediately spoke with Jermaine upon learning of these comments. The Browns in no way condone that type of language or behavior. This matter will be further addressed internally."

On Monday the Browns cut Whitehead from the team, according to the Associated Press.

Whitehead was in his second season with Cleveland. He was signed last year after the Green Bay Packers waived him two days after he threw a punch during a game. The Browns are 2-6 on the season.

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Instagram.com

Does Beyonce know about this? Latin superstars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira have been booked by Jay-Z to perform during Super Bowl LIV halftime in Miami, Florida next year.

Lopez, 50, and Shakira, 42, are set to perform at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Feb. 2. The announcement was made on Instagram.com on Thursday.

Shakira shared a photo of Lopez, 50, and the caption: "Get ready 02.02.20."

Lopez added: "This is happening. 02.02.20." "Going to set the world on [fire] @shakira #PepsiHalftime #SuperBowlLIV @pepsi".

Coincidently, Feb. 2 is Shakira's birthday.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Jay-Z was widely criticized for accepting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's offer to provide halftime music consultation in exchange for cash and a possible ownership in a NFL team.

Many believed the aging rapper's wife, Beyonce, would be the first artist he signed to perform during Super Bowl halftime.
 

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Antonio Brown announced his retirement from the NFL in a series of tweets over the weekend. One of his tweets contained what some are calling a "veiled threat" to the league.

The troubled New England Patriots wide receiver came under fire recently after two women accused him of sexual misconduct.

The Patriots seemed willing to stand by their star wide receiver. But he was let go on Friday after he sent a group text to his latest accuser, calling her "broke" and urging a friend to investigate her background.

Brown, 31, announced his retirement from the game on Sunday.

"Will not be playing in the @NFL anymore these owners can cancel deals do whatever they want at anytime we will see if the @NFLPA hold them accountable sad they can just void guarantees anytime going on 40m 2 months will see if they pay up !," he wrote, referring to his $9 million bonus that he forfeited when he violated the terms of his contract.

In a tweet sent earlier this month, Brown appeared to send a threat to the league.

"The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth," he tweeted.

He quoted an African proverb that roughly translates to: "If you don't initiate your young men into the tribe, they will burn down the village."

Brown also called out Patriots owner Robert Kraft for his hypocrisy after he was caught with his pants down in a Florida massage parlor.

Brown tweeted, "different strokes different folks clearly."

Kraft was reportedly furious after he learned about Brown's texts to his accuser. Brown's dismissal from the team was ordered by Kraft.

After Brown was let go, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, tweeted that Brown "is healthy and is looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL. He wants to play the game he loves and he hopes to play for another team soon."

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Antonio Brown has been let go from his third NFL team this year. The New England Patriots cut their troubled wide receiver loose on Friday after he sent group text messages to his latest accuser.

The Patriots had had enough, according to NFL.com.

"The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time," the Patriots said in a statement, according to NFL.com.

Brown, 31, was accused of causing a commotion on his last NFL team - the Oakland Raiders - because he wanted to sign with the Patriots.

Brown played one game in a Patriots uniform, despite allegations of sexual misconduct made by his former personal trainer.

Brown's second accuser, who is unnamed, complained that he sent her harassing text messages after she went public with her story.

Brown hired the woman to paint his portrait for a mural at his home in 2017 after meeting her at a charity softball game in Pittsburgh.

While she worked on the painting in his home, Brown allegedly emerged from the bathroom holding a cloth over his genitals.

The woman's story was published by the Sporting News.

The woman provided the text messages to Sports Illustrated that show texts sent from a phone number once used by Brown. He included her, his attorney and others on a group chat, calling her a "broke girl" and urging his associates to investigate her.

Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

"Really sad you would make up bull s—t story to the world thought u had more integrity n respect for yourself must be really hard times for to make up some stuff for money super sad,” reads one of the texts reads, according to Sports Illustrated.

The texter included photos of the artist's kids. The message urged "ig Eric" on the group chat to "look up her background."

Brown was let go after the accuser's lawyer, Lisa Banks, sent a letter to the NFL, complaining about the text messages. Banks called the texts "intimidating and threatening to our client, in violation of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy."

After he was released by the Patriots on Friday, Brown took to Twitter.com and Instagram.com to post an image featuring a Nipsey Hussle quote:

"Sometimes people try to destroy you precisely because they recognize your power; Not because they don't see it, but because they see it and they don't want it to exist."

He caught a TD pass and 4 passes for 56 yards in his only NFL game this year.
 

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