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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: 327477

Reported Deaths: 3751
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin688981130
Ramsey28948512
Anoka23196232
Dakota23102194
Washington14590120
Stearns14314121
St. Louis9280117
Scott881056
Wright827145
Olmsted702536
Sherburne608243
Clay521359
Carver501315
Kandiyohi432024
Rice427738
Blue Earth426617
Crow Wing376237
Otter Tail332725
Chisago326914
Benton317253
Nobles313731
Winona292031
Douglas278439
Mower270623
Polk266226
Morrison241730
Lyon228712
Beltrami227518
McLeod226517
Becker217619
Goodhue216930
Steele20568
Itasca202223
Isanti199517
Carlton198417
Todd187414
Nicollet169426
Mille Lacs161231
Freeborn15966
Le Sueur153511
Brown151015
Cass149910
Pine14298
Waseca141811
Meeker139011
Roseau12475
Martin121221
Hubbard117728
Wabasha11041
Redwood101720
Chippewa9508
Cottonwood9284
Renville92729
Dodge9110
Watonwan8824
Wadena8537
Sibley8194
Rock8019
Aitkin79530
Houston7694
Fillmore7480
Pipestone74718
Kanabec67714
Yellow Medicine67612
Pennington6758
Swift6149
Murray6064
Faribault5902
Pope5641
Clearwater5389
Stevens5333
Marshall5289
Jackson5181
Lake4437
Wilkin4115
Koochiching4106
Lac qui Parle3984
Unassigned38259
Lincoln3721
Norman3638
Big Stone3332
Mahnomen3164
Grant2956
Kittson2408
Red Lake2283
Traverse1521
Lake of the Woods1021
Cook790

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 234817

Reported Deaths: 2486
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34631341
Linn14655168
Scott1166189
Black Hawk11194139
Woodbury10622133
Johnson979337
Dubuque941594
Story698323
Pottawattamie664871
Dallas657159
Sioux380529
Webster371639
Cerro Gordo367649
Marshall357647
Clinton341444
Buena Vista313114
Des Moines298621
Muscatine298271
Warren291714
Plymouth284444
Wapello263772
Jones235917
Jasper229746
Lee225617
Marion210222
Carroll203624
Bremer200212
Henry19137
Crawford181016
Benton174023
Tama156641
Washington149715
Jackson148814
Delaware147021
Dickinson143811
Boone142412
Mahaska133328
Wright13007
Clay12254
Buchanan122010
Hardin121011
Hamilton117713
Page11664
Kossuth11608
Clayton11399
Cedar112513
Harrison110832
Floyd110219
Calhoun10907
Fayette108712
Mills10858
Lyon10619
Butler10576
Winneshiek102713
Poweshiek102013
Iowa100213
Winnebago94825
Cherokee9474
Chickasaw9084
Hancock9008
Sac8978
Louisa89321
Grundy88911
Allamakee87013
Mitchell8369
Cass83524
Union8166
Appanoose80713
Humboldt8015
Shelby79511
Emmet78626
Guthrie77115
Franklin76021
Jefferson7512
Madison7174
Unassigned7050
Palo Alto6734
Keokuk6477
Pocahontas5984
Howard5809
Osceola5411
Greene5401
Ida53013
Clarke5004
Montgomery49311
Davis4819
Taylor4773
Monona4516
Monroe45113
Adair4489
Worth3820
Van Buren3755
Fremont3743
Lucas3376
Decatur3290
Wayne3077
Audubon3052
Ringgold2382
Adams1792
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