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Michael Strahan says that if he were still playing in the NFL, he likely would kneel during the national anthem. In an appearance on Monday on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show, the Pro Football Hall of Famer cited his father's military service in saying that the protests staged by Colin Kaepernick were not meant to be disrespectful of "anybody in the armed services."

Only a small handful of NFL players have been staging protests this year, in August preseason games and through Week 1 of the regular season. However, the issue has continued to generate headlines, in part because President Donald Trump continues to harp on it and also because Kaepernick recently became the centerpiece of a major new Nike ad campaign.

Asked by DeGeneres about the risk Nike possibly took in promoting such a polarizing figure, Strahan replied, "They're smart, they know what they're doing."

The former Giants defensive end has gone on to even greater fame as a daytime host in his own right and is now a co-anchor on "GMA Day."

Bruno's rep sets the record straight

A representative for Bruno Mars says a news report claiming he will portray Prince in a new movie is "100 percent false." The Daily Mirror, a British tabloid, published a story over the weekend saying that Mars was "being lined up to play Prince" in a biopic to air on Netflix. The story was picked up by several online sites and was circulating widely. But Mars' representative says the story is not true and Netflix says there's no film in development. Mars performed a showstopping, memorable tribute to Prince at the 2017 Grammy Awards when he sang "Let's Go Crazy."

country music women: CMT is changing their Artists of the Year show to honor only women, including Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town and Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. Leslie Fram, CMT senior vice president of music and talent, said she hopes dedicating the entire show to women in country music — past, present and future — will spark a "much-needed change in the industry." The show airs on CMT on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. local time.

concert news: The Hold Steady will play 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis with two shows on Oct. 14. The double booking comes the day after the group headlines SurlyFest outside the Surly brewery. The Hold Steady played its first Twin Cities gigs at the Triple Rock in 2004, and from there the group went straight to the First Ave main room. Tickets for both Entry shows go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m.

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