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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: 915942

Reported Deaths: 9606
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1786832038
Ramsey739711046
Dakota67683587
Anoka64112577
Washington40545359
Stearns33631279
St. Louis29591409
Scott25994186
Wright25957217
Olmsted22339130
Sherburne19000127
Carver1670669
Clay12104105
Blue Earth1147970
Rice11451138
Crow Wing11213123
Chisago995379
Kandiyohi9815108
Otter Tail9813127
Benton9033125
Beltrami816997
Goodhue811798
Douglas7875101
Itasca772299
Mower733449
McLeod713084
Winona710258
Isanti700783
Steele685731
Morrison672879
Becker628574
Polk603187
Freeborn561246
Carlton546974
Mille Lacs532479
Lyon528461
Nobles525054
Nicollet522460
Pine515043
Cass501253
Todd492843
Brown470759
Le Sueur459734
Meeker433458
Martin386544
Wabasha375510
Waseca374333
Dodge361112
Hubbard355249
Roseau316231
Fillmore305315
Wadena302940
Redwood281445
Houston272017
Renville268451
Faribault258233
Sibley252317
Pennington252130
Kanabec250136
Cottonwood230132
Aitkin222450
Chippewa220542
Pope207410
Watonwan198020
Yellow Medicine188023
Rock177729
Koochiching176725
Swift173123
Stevens167511
Jackson161016
Clearwater158020
Marshall153522
Murray151811
Pipestone149729
Lake132924
Lac qui Parle123025
Wilkin121116
Mahnomen106014
Norman10509
Grant101510
Big Stone9485
Lincoln8805
Kittson73223
Red Lake71410
Traverse6056
Unassigned545124
Lake of the Woods5265
Cook3071

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 525758

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk81677809
Linn32838430
Scott27126295
Black Hawk22334382
Woodbury20736263
Johnson20150108
Dubuque18996243
Pottawattamie16215214
Dallas15573115
Story1398059
Warren8637107
Cerro Gordo8141125
Clinton7928115
Webster7419124
Des Moines7153106
Marshall675494
Muscatine6717117
Wapello6546145
Jasper630591
Sioux622477
Lee5977106
Marion567697
Buena Vista503449
Plymouth493388
Henry427155
Benton414760
Jones413564
Bremer403873
Boone397042
Washington395464
Carroll373355
Mahaska372366
Crawford355647
Jackson324047
Dickinson317555
Buchanan312743
Delaware303255
Clay297636
Kossuth293477
Fayette290356
Hardin289253
Tama282878
Page276133
Wright270050
Cedar269527
Winneshiek267744
Hamilton262757
Floyd261049
Clayton252360
Poweshiek242043
Harrison240979
Madison237425
Butler237346
Cass235667
Iowa234336
Jefferson228544
Mills225330
Hancock222840
Winnebago222339
Cherokee217347
Appanoose210157
Lyon209842
Allamakee209456
Calhoun199519
Shelby199542
Union197141
Humboldt188231
Franklin188031
Grundy186137
Chickasaw184522
Mitchell184343
Emmet180146
Louisa178653
Sac175626
Guthrie169338
Clarke163629
Montgomery163146
Keokuk152639
Palo Alto152332
Howard150624
Monroe144340
Ida134141
Greene128818
Davis126825
Lucas126127
Monona124940
Worth12309
Pocahontas122125
Adair118239
Osceola105718
Decatur104813
Taylor100914
Fremont98913
Van Buren95922
Wayne86125
Ringgold78429
Audubon77617
Adams5869
Unassigned500
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