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Peyton Manning doesn't rule out future role with Broncos

Peyton Manning doesn't rule out future role with Broncos

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning didn’t rule out a future role with the Denver Broncos given the ownership uncertainty surrounding one of the NFL’s iconic franchises.“I am as interested in what’s going to happen as anybody because I care about it,” Manning said Wednesday in a Zoom call ahead of his induction next month into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.The trust that runs the franchise valued at $3.2 billion could approve one of late owner Pat Bowlen’s children to become the team’s next controlling owner — Brittany Bowlen, 31, is the preferred choice — or sell the team altogether.Arapahoe County District Judge John E. Scipione signed a motion this week to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two of the late owner’s daughters from his first marriage.Amie Bowlen Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace had alleged their father was already affected by Alzheimer’s and was subject to “undue influence” in setting up the three-person trust that has run the team in his absence and will decide the future of the franchise.Bowlen died in 2019 a month shy of his induction into the Hall of Fame and five years after stepping away from his duties running the team after announcing he’d been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.The judge had put the four-week trial, which was scheduled to start July 12, on hold earlier this month.In his dismissal notice Tuesday, the judge wrote that Bowlen’s estate planning documents were “valid, enforceable, and reflect Patrick D. Bowlen’s intent and will” and that the trustees — team president Joe Ellis and lawyers Rich Slivka and Mary Kelly — have the authority to administer the trust.The dismissal of the lawsuit this week suggests a settlement has been reached but both sides are prohibited from commenting on the case.Ellis has said all of Bowlen’s seven children named in the trust must agree on the choice if one of them is selected or the team would be sold.That has led to speculation that Manning, who retired after the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, could be involved in some capacity.“I’ve gone on a year-to-year basis in this second chapter,” Manning said. “I’m going to try to do this, this year. I don’t go past that because you try different things and maybe you like it, maybe you don’t. I will always be a part of the Broncos and Colts organizations in some way.“But I’m interested in what’s going to happen. I haven’t said no to anything officially forever. I’ve just said no to some things each year. The next year, maybe things change. So, who knows what will happen in that.”Manning said he had always hoped to finish his career in Indianapolis, where the Colts selected him No. 1 overall in the 1998 NFL draft, but a neck injury led to his dismissal from the Colts and made him the most sought-after free agent in NFL history, rivaled only by Tom Brady’s jump from New England to Tampa a year ago and Reggie White’s shift from Philadelphia to Green Bay in 1993.Impressed by John Elway’s approach, Manning chose the Broncos.“Denver, boy they just welcomed me with open arms,” Manning said. “They were the only team that really just understood what I was going through emotionally, physically, and a lot of that was Elway.“They were the only team that said, ‘Hey Peyton, give us your Indianapolis playbook and we will form this hybrid offense with the plays we like in Denver that will help you at this point in your career. We will really give you a chance to get back going again.’ And not every team was doing that. I will always be indebted to Denver. … You can only live in one place, and Denver’s just been a great place to live. I couldn’t have made a better decision.”Manning has lived in Denver since retiring from the NFL a month after becoming the first quarterback to win Super Bowls with two different teams.He and his young son, Marshall, are often spotted at Nuggets games and Manning threw out the ceremonial first pitch at baseball’s All-Star Game on Tuesday night at Coors Field.With Rockies icon and former University of Tennessee football teammate Todd Helton looking on, Manning one-hopped his throw to Colorado pitcher German Marquez.“It was an 0-2 count in my head,” Manning explained. “So, I had a pitch to throw away. That’s what I told Helton.”———More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL

Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib on Monday became the first active NFL player to come out as gay.Nassib, who is entering his sixth NFL season and second with the Raiders, announced the news on Instagram, saying he wasn’t doing it for the attention but because he felt representation and visibility were important.”I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” Nassib said in his video message from his home in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest.“I really have the best life. I got the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important.”Nassib added in a written message that followed the video that he “agonized over this moment for the last 15 years” and only recently decided to go public with his sexuality after receiving the support of family and friends.“I am also incredibly thankful for the NFL, my coaches, and fellow players for their support,” Nassib wrote. “I would not have been able to do this without them. From the jump I was greeted with the utmost respect and acceptance.”Nassib, whose announcement came during Pride Month, added that he was donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that seeks to prevent suicides among LGBTQ youth.“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “Representation matters. We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.”Nassib’s announcement also was greeted by Brian Burke, president of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. Burke has been a major proponent of LGBTQ rights for more than a decade since his late son Brendan came out as gay.“Proud to support Carl and his decision to come out as the first active gay player in the NFL,” Burke said. “I hope other sports executives will join me in publicly expressing their support as well.”The Raiders showed their support, writing, “Proud of you, Carl,” on their repost of Nassib’s message on Twitter and adding a black heart emoji.DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, tweeted: “Our union supports Carl and his work with the Trevor Project is proof that he — like our membership — is about making his community and this world a better place not for themselves, but for others.”Penn State coach James Franklin said he and his wife Fumi were inspired by Nassib’s announcement to donate $10,000 to the Trevor Project.“I am very proud of Carl for his courage and voice,” Franklin said. “This announcement doesn’t surprise me because if you know Carl, you know his strength. Carl’s story continues to add chapters which will have an impact well beyond the field of play.”Nassib led the nation with 15½ sacks in 2015, Franklin’s second season in State College, and he was a cornerstone of the program’s path back to contention.“Carl’s brave announcement will forge a path for others to be true to their authentic self,” Franklin added. “I was proud of Carl when he led the nation in sacks, but I’m even more proud of him now.”Former All-Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman commended Nassib and suggested teammates and opponents won’t have a problem with his announcement.“Congrats to Carl Nassib on coming out that’s a big step, I think that most players are concerned if you can play or not,” Merriman tweeted.“They were great teammates, & obviously very talented. As long as they helped us win and were great teammates, their sexual preference was never a issue,” Moon wrote. “We live in a different time now where diversity is much more accepted. Cheers Carl, and I hope this lets other athletes know, its OK to say who you are…”Added fellow Nittany Lions alum and Giants running back Saquon Barkley, “Much respect brudda.”Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, a leading LGBTQ advocacy organization, called Nassib’s “powerful coming out is a historic reflection of the growing state of LGBTQ visibility and inclusion in the world of professional sports, which has been driven by a long list of brave LGBTQ athletes who came before him.”Ellis said Nassib’s story “will not only have a profound impact on the future of LGBTQ visibility and acceptance in sports, but sends a strong message to so many LGBTQ people, especially youth, that they too can one day grow up to be and succeed as a professional athlete like him.”More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over.Nassib is a sixth-year pro who was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2016 in the third round (65th overall) out of Penn State. He played two seasons for the Browns and two for Tampa Bay before joining the Raiders in 2020. He has 20 1/2 sacks in 73 career games.———More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL