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Pizza Hut replaces Papa John’s as ‘pizza of the NFL’

Pizza Hut is replacing Papa John’s as a sponsor of the National Football League. CNBC reported that the Yum! Brands subsidiary was announced as the official pizza sponsor of the NFL Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news 

The news comes a day after Papa John’s and the NFL mutually decided to end their relationship. Papa John’s was the official pizza of the league since 2010. 

“The NFL and Papa John's have made a mutual decision to shift from their official league sponsorship to a focus on partnerships with 22 local NFL teams, presence in broadcast and digital media, and key personalities in the sport,” the league and company said in a joint statement Tuesday, according to ESPN.

In 2017, the brand drew controversy when its former CEO, founder John Schnatter, blamed slow pizza sales on protests from NFL players during an earnings call in November. 

Related: Papa John’s CEO apologizes for comments on NFL anthem protest controversy

“The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction,” Schnatter said, according to reports. “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”

Schnatter and Papa John’s apologized for the comments weeks later, but damage was already done.

Related: John Schnatter stepping down as Papa John’s CEO

Pizza Hut now has a multiyear agreement with the league, starting with the 2018 season.

“We know many of our fans enjoy pizza while watching NFL games and we are thrilled to have Pizza Hut, an industry leader and one of America's favorite brands, as an official league sponsor,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement Wednesday. “With a focus on family, friends and fun, Pizza Hut has the creativity we are looking for in a partner and we look forward to working together with them to make the at-home NFL experience more exciting than ever for our fans.”

“The opportunity to align in an official capacity with the NFL is a tremendous opening for a brand and product that is so neatly aligned with the football-watching occasion like pizza and Pizza Hut,” Andy Rosen, Pizza Hut franchise owner and Franchise Board of Directors Chairman said in a news release. “Our system is aligned behind and thrilled about this partnership. No one better understands the essence of Pizza Hut, including our consumers, than our group of owners and team members.”

Pizza Hut will make its partnership debut during the 2018 NFL Draft in Dallas, Texas.

Ex-NFL player Jonathan Martin detained by LA police after threatening Instagram post

Former offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, whose NFL career ended shortly after his accusations of being bullied by Miami Dolphins teammates in 2013 resulted in a league investigation and the firings of a coach and trainer, reportedly was detained and questioned by the Los Angeles Police Department on Friday afternoon after posting a chilling story on his Instagram page.

>> Read more trending news

The post features a picture of a shotgun with the handles of ex-Dolphin teammates Mike Pouncey and Richie Incognito -- among others -- and that of his high school and the Miami Dolphins. There are shotgun shells scattered around the gun.

The words “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge” appear in red letters next to the gun and shells.

On Friday, Harvard-Westlake, the Los Angeles-area high school Martin attended, was closed.

“Last evening, we learned of an Internet post that mentions Harvard-Westlake by name,” the school said in a statement as it closed both of its campuses. “Out of an abundance of caution, and because the safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority, we made the decision to close school today. We are working closely with law enforcement and will share more information when we are able.”

ABC News first reported that Martin was being detained and questioned. USA Today, quoting an anonymous source, said Martin was being detained at a Los Angeles-area hospital. Martin was not under arrest Friday evening, police spokesman Josh Rubenstein said.

This frightening event comes on the heels of the Feb. 14 massacre at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High when 17 students and staffers were gunned down inside the school by a former student.

The “Bullygate” scandal rocked the Dolphins in 2013 as Martin, who played parts of two seasons for the Dolphins, claimed that he was mistreated by players and coaches. The NFL hired attorney Ted Wells to do an investigation that focused on Pouncey, Incognito, fellow linemen John Jerry and Andrew McDonald, trainer Kevin O’Neill and line coach Jim Turner. Martin accused Incognito and Jerry of racism and verbal and emotional abuse. Wells found that Martin was subjected to “a pattern of harassment” – including racial slurs and sexual taunts about his mother and sister by Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey.

Turner and O’Neill were fired by the Dolphins because of the scandal.

Only Pouncey remains with the Dolphins. Martin played briefly with the San Francisco 49ers before retiring in 2015. He has since talked about battling depression and claims to have attempted suicide on multiple occasions.

The Dolphins have not commented on the matter.

Florida school shooting: Football coach shot, killed while protecting students hailed as hero

UPDATE, 5:19 a.m. EST Thursday: Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach and security guard at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has died after being wounded in a deadly mass shooting Wednesday, the team tweeted early Thursday.

“It is with great sadness that our football family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis,” the team wrote. “He was our assistant football coach and security guard. He selflessly shielded students from the shooter when he was shot. He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories.”

>> See the tweet here

ORIGINAL STORY: An assistant football coach reportedly was shot while protecting students during a deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Aaron Feis is being celebrated as a hero, according to the Miami Herald, citing tributes to the coach and reports on social media.

>> MORE: Live updatesPhoto gallery | Who is Nikolas Cruz?

Seventeen were killed and many more were injured in Wednesday's shooting. A gunman, whom police identified as 19-year-old former student Nikolas De Jesus Cruz, opened fire on students in the afternoon.

When the shooting started, Feis – a school security guard, as well – reportedly stepped between the shooter and students, taking bullets in the act. He was reportedly hospitalized in critical condition.

Douglas football player Charlie Rothkopf tweeted that his coach “took [several] bullets covering other students at Douglas.”

The Miami Herald reported that Feis is a 1999 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

>> Read more trending news 

“He is a friend to all students that know him,” wrote Angelica Losada, who identified herself as a former student at the school. “Please, take a moment to send healing prayers for him.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said “a football coach” had died in the shooting. It is not clear if Israel was referring to Feis.

Kid from ‘The Blind Side’ now works for Arkansas football team

Sean “SJ” Tuohy Jr. has not been blindsided by fame. In fact, he has embraced it.

>> Read more trending news

Tuohy works for University of Arkansas coach Chad Morris, but many remember him because of the character portrayed by Jae Head in the 2009 movie “The Blind Side.”

"Everyone wants me to stay as this 11-year-old kid," Tuohy, an assistant director of football operations, told KATV. "Some people think I 'Benjamin Button'-ed it, never aged or went backwards. I think it's disappointing to someone when I say ‘That's me.’ ‘Oh man, I thought you were much smaller and cuter!’”

“The Blind Side” is the story of Michael Oher, an impoverished youth adopted by the well-to-do Tuohy family. Oher went on to a successful career as an offensive lineman at the University of Mississippi and the NFL, most notably with the Baltimore Ravens.

Tuohy continues to have a good relationship with his adopted brother.

"You look back at it and think, I wasn't really like that, that's not how it was. (But) that's what it was like," Tuohy told KATV. “(Michael) excelled in football, he excelled in basketball, everyone socially loved him. He was someone you look at like, 'Man, I hope I can be like that one day.'"

Tuohy shed some light on the film, which starred Sandra Bullock in the role of his mother and Tim McGraw as his father. Quinton Aaron played Oher in the film.

He said Bullock’s characterization of his mother, Leigh Anne Tuohy, was accurate, but was only a capsule version.

"She's much worse in real life than Sandra Bullock was in the movie,” Tuohy told KATV. “That was two hours of my mom. Think about that as a 24-hour day, all the time."

Bullock won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Touhy.

Tuohy said the movie sometimes was a curse, adding that he’d often be taunted while playing high school sports.

"'Good job, Sandra,' chants and I remember we were warming up one time playing a school in football and they played the whole 'Blind Side' soundtrack before the game,” Tuohy told KATV. “I can't control any of that stuff and just laugh it off."

Read: Tom Brady reflects on Super Bowl loss in new Instagram post

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke out for the first time Friday in the wake of his team’s Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

>> Read more trending news

The Eagles defeated the Patriots in Minneapolis on Sunday, 41-33.

"It has taken me a few days to reflect on our SB loss as well as the great season our team had,” he wrote in an Instagram post. "There are many emotions when you come up short on your goal. And they are all part of learning and growing in this journey of life."

>> Related: Gisele Bündchen comforts Tom Brady, children after Super Bowl loss 

He went on to express his gratitude to the organization, his teammates, the Eagles and the fans.

To read the whole post, click here.

>> Related: Tom Brady's ex ‘Blue Bloods’ star Bridget Moynahan responds to Super Bowl loss

Suspect charged in drunken-driving crash that killed Colts' Edwin Jackson

A man suspected of killing Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and his Uber driver in a drunken-driving crash over the weekend was formally charged Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Manuel Orrego-Savala -- a 37-year-old Guatemalan man who was living illegally in Indiana, according to police -- was charged with four felony counts in connection with the crash that killed Edwin Jackson, 26, and Jeffrey Monroe, 54, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Orrego-Savala pleaded not guilty Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

His attorney, Jorge Torres, told a judge Wednesday morning that Orrego-Savala was distraught and confused by the charges against him, the AP reported. He said that Orrego-Savala has lived in Indiana for years and did construction work in the Indianapolis area.

>> Related: Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson killed by drunk driver, police say

He added that Orrego-Savala’s immigration status has nothing to do with Sunday’s crash, according to the AP.

Police said Orrego-Savala, who also goes by the name Alex Cabrera Gonsales, was in the United States illegally, despite being deported twice before – once in 2007 and again in 2009. On Tuesday, federal authorities charged Orrego-Savala with illegal re-entry of a previously deported alien, according to the Star.

Nicole Alberico, spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the Star that authorities believe Orrego-Savala came to the U.S. illegally in about July 2004. He was convicted in 2005 of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Redwood City, California, she said.

He was deported by authorities in San Francisco in both 2007 and 2009, Alberico told the Star. It was not immediately clear why he was in Indiana.

Indiana State police arrested Orrego-Savala early Sunday after authorities said he drove a pickup truck onto the emergency shoulder on a stretch of Interstate 70 in Marion County, hitting a car that had pulled off the shoulder. Officials said Monroe and Jackson were outside of the car and killed in the crash.

Jackson, an undrafted linebacker out of Georgia Southern, played in all 16 games with eight starts, recording 66 tackles in 2016 for the Colts. This past season, he was on the injured-reserve list.

"We admired his outgoing personality, competitive spirit and hard-working mentality," the Colts said in a release. "He was well-respected among all with whom he crossed paths, and he will be greatly missed in our locker room and throughout our entire organization."

Orrego-Savala is expected to appear in court March 21 for a pre-trial hearing, according to the Star.

Fanbuzz contributed to this report.

Patriots' Rob Gronkowski's home burglarized during Super Bowl, police say

Update 11:33 a.m. EST Feb. 7: Police in Massachusetts are investigating after authorities said burglars broke into the home of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski while he was in Minneapolis playing in Super Bowl LII.

>> Read more trending news

According to a heavily redacted police report, the break-in happened at 8:50 p.m., just five minutes after Gronkowski scored his first of two touchdowns at the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“This is Rob Gronkowski calling,” the football player can be heard saying in a recording of the 911 call he made about the incident. “While I was gone, my whole house got robbed – while on the Super Bowl trip, and I just got back.”

According to the police report, burglars were not able to get into Gronkowski's bedroom -- it was found locked and secured. However, items were taken from the his housemates’ bedrooms, and other valuables were stolen from common areas of the home.

Original report: In exclusive video obtained by Boston 25 News, police can be seen responding Monday to Gronkowski’s home in Foxborough, a few miles from Gillette Stadium. In the video, Massachusetts State Police vehicles can be seen parked outside Gronkowski’s home until about 11 p.m.

Gronkowski briefly appeared at the door of his home, but he did not say anything about the investigation.

Boston 25 News obtained a police audio recording of the responding officer talking about the break-in. In it, the officer says that “the homeowner… reports while he was on his trip, his house was broken into.”

>> On Boston25News.com: Foxborough police provide update on break-in at Gronk's house

The officer also mentions that “multiple safes” and “possible guns” were reported missing after the break-in.

Foxborough police Chief William Baker spoke with reporters outside the police station Tuesday morning and confirmed that Gronkowski’s home was burglarized while he was away in Minnesota.

“I think it’s kind of a tough combination,” he said. “You know, to have suffered this unfortunate loss and then to get home and be a victim of this kind of crime.”

A neighbor spoke with Boston 25 News early Tuesday and said he noticed something unusual Sunday at Gronkowski’s home.

“We went past the house on Sunday, about 12:30-1 p.m., and I happened to notice the gate was ajar, which is very unusual," Tom Savino said. "You never see that gate ajar. So, as a joke, my son and I said, ‘Gee, maybe we should just call the police or something.' Now I’m sort of sorry I didn't."

>> Rob Gronkowski noncommital on return to Patriots after loss

Gronkowski and the rest of the New England Patriots left for the Super Bowl in Minneapolis on Jan. 29, and didn’t return home until around 5 p.m. Monday.

Police declined to release additional information on the burglary as they continue their investigation.

“Whether you’re Rob Gronkowski or Bill Baker, being the victim of a residential property crime like that is unpleasant,” Baker said. “So, out of respect for Mr. Gronkowski’s privacy, and because this is an active and dynamic criminal investigation we are not going to release any information right now about what was stolen or whether any suspects exist.”

Several Eagles will skip White House visit if invited

The Philadelphia Eagles have been celebrating since stunning the New England Patriots 41-33 to win Super Bowl LII on Sunday. Their victory tour will kick off with a parade Thursday in downtown Philadelphia.

>> Read more trending news

However, several players already have made it known they will not visit the White House if they are invited by President Donald Trump, CNN reported.

Traditionally, the Super Bowl champions visit the White House.

Eagles defensive end Chris Long, who skipped the visit last year when he played for the Patriots, said before Super Bowl LII game that he would not attend if the Eagles beat New England.

He reiterated that sentiment Sunday night during an interview on the “Pardon My Take Podcast.”

"No, I'm not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?” he said.

 >> Underdog Patriots defeat Eagles to win Super Bowl

Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount also played for the Patriots last year and did not go to Washington when New England won Super Bowl LI. At the time he said that “I just don't feel welcome into that house. I'm just gonna leave it at that,” CNN reported.

Philadelphia wide receiver Torrey Smith said he was opposed to Trump’s outbursts against players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest racism.

“We read the news just like everyone else," Smith told NJ.com last week. "You see Donald Trump tweet something ... We have those conversations in the locker room, just like everyone else does in the workplace. We're very informed about what goes on, and we're trying to continue to educate ourselves.

>> If Eagles win Super Bowl, Chris Long won’t accept White House invitation

“They call it the anthem protest,”Smith said. “We're not protesting the anthem. It's a protest during the anthem. I understand why people are mad, or may be offended when someone takes a knee. My father, when he dies, is going to be buried with an American flag draped around his casket, being that he served in the Army.”

Pink slams critic of Super Bowl national anthem performance

Pink is seriously not here for the haters.

The pop singer came down with the flu over the weekend, but despite the setback, she nailed her performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl LII.

>> Read more trending news

Pink mustered up the same energy later Sunday after someone on Twitter wrote that the singer “sucks” and called her fans “dumb” in a since-deleted tweet.

“Yeah but at least I suck while singing our countries national anthem, and you just suck by yourself on a dirty couch,” she wrote.

“Poor dude couldn’t handle the heat she brought,” said one fan, who noticed that the person who posted the insulting tweet has since switched his or her Twitter account from public to private after sending the message. The account was later made public again.

>> Related: Pink nails national anthem at Super Bowl LII, spits out throat lozenge beforehand

“You were amazing! Coming from NYC when someone sings it with such feeling it takes me back to 9/11. Thank you for such. Beautiful tribute. I felt it in my heart,” said another fan.

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