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Beto O'Rourke: From rock guitarist to congressman

Congressman Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) is giving incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz a run for his money in the Texas Senate contest, but he still faces an uphill battle. CNN's Ed Lavandera reports.

Posted: Oct 1, 2018 12:19 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2018 12:29 PM

A viral video of Democratic Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke discussing protests over racial injustice during the national anthem in the NFL has drawn a wave of praise and commentary from some high-profile athletes, including LeBron James.

James tweeted about the video of O'Rourke from "Now This" news, which credits the footage to Nivien Saleh. As of Thursday morning, the video had more than 12.8 million views and more than 160,000 retweets.

"A Must Watch!!!," James wrote to his 41 million followers. "Salute @BetoORourke for the candid thoughtful words!"

In the four-minute video, O'Rourke fields a question at a Texas town hall about the national anthem protests that have roiled the NFL over the past year. The El Paso Democrat -- who is challenging incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz in November -- explains why he supports the protests, meant to draw attention to racial injustice, and remarking on the similarities between the sacrifices of soldiers and veterans and those of civil rights activists, and saying "I can think of nothing more American" than peaceful protests.

Cruz responded to the O'Rourke video on Thursday, tweeting: "Most Texans stand for the flag, but Hollywood liberals are so excited that Beto is siding with NFL players protesting the national anthem that Kevin Bacon just retweeted it. That means all of us us can now win Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon!"

In addition to LeBron James, a series of other star athletes and pro coaches shared and commented on the video of O'Rourke.

NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Kurt Warner tweeted, "Every past & present fan of NFL - please listen - I believe he hit the nail on the head & he did so not by dividing the 2 sides but by joining them together in realizing the freedoms of our country have been forged by soldiers but also by many others who have fought in diff ways!"

And NFL Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy also weighed in. "If you want some insight into the National Anthem kneeling controversy, watch this. If you've already made up your mind that kneeling is disrespectful and facts and history won't change your mind there's no need to watch."

Pro athletes from other sports also shared the video. Abby Wambach -- a former star of the US Women's National Soccer team, who won both Olympic Gold and a World Cup -- wrote, "No matter where you land on this issue, because I understand it's complicated, please watch this. @BetoORourke is smart, and compassionate, and respectful of all people here. This is what leadership looks like."

Steve Kerr, head coach of the NBA-champion Golden State Warriors, who has a reputation for being outspoken on politics, shared the video as well. "Please watch this and be reminded of what thoughtful leadership looks and sounds like. Thank you @BetoORourke for giving us a glimpse of our future. Things will get better!"

The protests during the anthem -- begun by then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 -- have happened with varying participation since 2016, pulling the NFL into a public debate that has seen President Donald Trump call on team owners to stem them.

James has also escalated his political engagement over the last couple of years and has been particularly vocal in his criticism of President Trump. Ahead of the NBA Finals in June -- which raised the prospect of a White House visit for the winning team -- James preemptively declared that "no one wants to" visit the Trump White House, and that neither team would attend such a ceremony. Discussing the same topic the previous September, James referred to Trump as "u bum" in a tweet, writing, "Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!"

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 609387

Reported Deaths: 7743
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1262491796
Ramsey52997910
Dakota47216475
Anoka43200465
Washington27664296
Stearns22659227
St. Louis18245319
Scott17686139
Wright16518153
Olmsted13503103
Sherburne1212396
Carver1073749
Clay829692
Rice8249111
Blue Earth769944
Crow Wing687999
Kandiyohi669885
Chisago626954
Otter Tail590087
Benton585198
Goodhue485574
Douglas477781
Mower477533
Winona463552
Itasca462768
Isanti445566
McLeod434261
Morrison427762
Beltrami410163
Nobles409850
Steele400719
Polk390772
Becker389157
Lyon365054
Carlton356958
Freeborn350734
Pine337323
Nicollet334045
Mille Lacs314856
Brown308640
Le Sueur299527
Cass288133
Todd288133
Meeker265444
Waseca240723
Martin236933
Roseau212221
Wabasha20833
Hubbard197741
Dodge18943
Renville183146
Redwood178141
Houston175416
Cottonwood168124
Wadena165023
Fillmore158910
Faribault156920
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec147828
Sibley147310
Aitkin139237
Watonwan13619
Rock129019
Jackson123112
Pipestone117126
Yellow Medicine115320
Pope11396
Murray107310
Swift107318
Koochiching96819
Stevens92611
Clearwater89217
Marshall88817
Lake84320
Wilkin83813
Lac qui Parle76122
Big Stone6094
Grant5958
Lincoln5863
Mahnomen5669
Norman5509
Kittson49122
Unassigned48193
Red Lake4037
Traverse3815
Lake of the Woods3474
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 374664

Reported Deaths: 6109
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58891646
Linn21448342
Scott20426250
Black Hawk16680319
Woodbury15319230
Johnson1473686
Dubuque13595213
Dallas1144099
Pottawattamie11307177
Story1082848
Warren592092
Clinton564393
Cerro Gordo562297
Webster538996
Sioux519174
Muscatine4920106
Marshall491479
Des Moines478275
Jasper452073
Wapello4366123
Buena Vista431040
Plymouth404982
Lee392658
Marion369177
Jones301257
Henry301037
Bremer292763
Carroll286252
Boone271234
Crawford270841
Benton262755
Washington259851
Dickinson250745
Mahaska232551
Jackson225842
Kossuth219166
Clay217327
Tama213372
Delaware211743
Winneshiek200636
Buchanan196734
Page195422
Cedar192923
Hardin191144
Wright189140
Fayette188243
Hamilton186851
Harrison181973
Clayton173057
Butler167835
Madison167719
Floyd164642
Mills163824
Cherokee161538
Lyon160941
Poweshiek159036
Allamakee155552
Hancock153134
Iowa148324
Winnebago145731
Calhoun143113
Cass140855
Grundy139333
Emmet136741
Jefferson134535
Sac132620
Shelby131838
Louisa130249
Union129535
Appanoose128049
Franklin127823
Mitchell127243
Chickasaw125717
Guthrie124532
Humboldt124526
Palo Alto114924
Montgomery106738
Howard105322
Clarke102424
Monroe100633
Keokuk99932
Ida92735
Adair89632
Davis86825
Pocahontas86822
Monona85931
Greene79111
Osceola79017
Lucas77423
Worth7568
Taylor67112
Decatur6629
Fremont64810
Ringgold56824
Van Buren56718
Wayne56323
Audubon52913
Adams3494
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