RENTON, Wash. (AP) NATIONAL ANTHEM PROTESTS

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said Wednesday the public isn't listening to the message NFL players are trying to send with their actions during the national anthem.

While some fans are obsessing about whether players take a knee, raise a fist or lock arms during the national anthem before games, Sherman said they should be talking about the reasons why players are protesting.

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Sherman did not take questions during his media availability. Instead, he walked to the podium, said a few words about this week's opponent San Francisco and then gave a two-minute statement about what players have wanted to accomplish.

Sherman's message came after a pair of police shootings this week, one in Charlotte, North Carolina, another in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Sherman's statement came as the Seahawks are preparing to face San Francisco on Sunday. Teammate Doug Baldwin told reporters in the Bay Area that members of the Seahawks have had extensive conversations with Colin Kaepernick, who started the conversation with his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem.

PRO BASKETBALL

MIAMI (AP) - NBA players are being urged to reach out to league and union officials to try and come up with ways to create ''positive change'' in communities around the country, a move that comes in response to protests in other sports about racial oppression and other social matters.

Players received a memo from the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association on Wednesday, one that announced that the league and the union, ''working together, have begun developing substantive ways for us to come together and take meaningful action.''

A copy of the memo was obtained by The Associated Press. It did not remind players of the NBA's rule saying players must stand for the national anthem, something that some athletes in other pro sports have chosen not to do in recent weeks in acts of protest.

They also said the game should continue bringing ''people together and build bonds of trust in our communities.''

The memo was sent on the same day that each player on the WNBA's Indiana Fever roster took a knee and linked arms with a teammate during the playing of the national anthem that preceded the team's playoff game with the Phoenix Mercury.

OLYMPICS

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - The first Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award will recognize the late Muhammad Ali.

The Owens Award was started this year, the 80th anniversary of Owens' four-gold-medal performance at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and is to be presented annually to recognize people who have served as an inspiration in society.

Owens' granddaughter, Marlene Dortch, will present the award at next week's Best of the Games awards ceremony to Ali's widow, Lonnie.

Ali won the gold medal at the Rome 1960 Olympics, then took three world heavyweight championships - in 1964, 1974 and 1978.

HOCKEY

FRISCO, Texas (AP) - Dallas Stars announcer Dave Strader plans to work as many games as possible this season while undergoing treatment for a rare and aggressive form of cancer in his bile duct.

Strader released a statement through the team Wednesday saying there is no cure for cholangiocarcinoma. But he said the cancer is treatable and that is ''fighting every day'' and doing everything the doctors tell him to do. He thanked the Stars, fans and the entire NHL for their support for him and his family.

The Stars first revealed in June that Strader had been diagnosed with cancer, but gave no other details then.

A 36-year veteran in broadcasting, Strader joined the TV and radio simulcast with the Stars last season. He has also worked for the NBC Sports Network and served stints with Florida, Arizona and Detroit in the NHL.

POLITICS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A man hit Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson in the face with a pie at a charity dinner Wednesday night, and an official says the former NBA star went on the defensive.

The mayor's Chief of Staff Crystal Strait called the Wednesday night incident at the Sacramento Charter High School a shocking assault, but said the mayor wasn't hurt.

She said the mayor defended himself against the man, but she would not give details.

Sacramento police said in a statement that a police restrained the suspect, 32-year-old Sean Thompson, who has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a public official. He was treated for a minor injury and is being booked into jail.

The mayor tweeted that he's ''doing fine'' and said ''Thank you to Sac PD for being there.''

Johnson a former NBA All-Star with the Phoenix Suns, has about two months left as mayor after deciding not to seek a third term.