The lines of football and politics have merged for a quick reaction from NFL players to a string of comments from President Donald Trump. Players, coaches, owners, and staff have rallied together, kneeling and/or locking arms during the National Anthem, to show solidarity and teamwork to the millions of people watching on the same TVs that broadcasted Trump calling NFL players ‘SOBs.’
Who started this particular type of statement?
There was Kaepernick, dropped to a knee during the National Anthem. He may not have seen it coming, but those 2016 games were overshadowed by statements made by No. 7 of the 49ers.
As NFL.com reported, Kaepernick said that he was kneeling during the National Anthem for wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.
Kaepernick said, “I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Though Kaepernick’s reasons for kneeling may represent some of NFL players decisions during week 3, most players were triggered by Trump’s comments.
Trump’s Attack on Football
President Trump attacked pro football players who don’t stand during the national anthem – and urged team owners to remove those silent protesters from the field at a campaign rally in Huntsville last Friday, according to the NY Post.
He continued, saying that he wishes NFL suits would take a harder stance against players who take a knee during the national anthem.
Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when someone disrespects our flag to say, `Get that son of a bitch off the field right now! Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!”
Week 3 of the NFL season showed solidarity in that players found a way to put everyone’s backgrounds aside to reach a common goal.
Whether or not you say Kaepernick or other players were effective in their protests, you’re saying something, and conversation is a start in the right direction.