Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Protests continue in preseason; National Football League reiterates no discipline amid anthem talks

Protests continue in preseason; National Football League reiterates no discipline amid anthem talks

The "take a knee" protest is getting renewed attention after President Trump tweeted Friday morning regarding National Football League players who joined the protest during Thursday's games.

Literally, hours after the start of preseason came to an end, Trump took another shot at players that choose to protest the anthem.

League spokesperson Brian McCarthy told reporters yesterday that, in fact, the NFL's anti-protest-policy (in which players either must stand for the anthem or "demonstrate" inside the locker room) is still intact, even though the NFL put a hold on that policy just a few weeks ago.

Trump added, "Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their "outrage" at something that majority are unable to define". Instead, he said, players should "Be happy, be cool!".

In a second tweet, Trump claimed that "Most of the money goes to the players anyway", but there is no proof that is true. Find another way to protest. Trump showed support for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones when Jones said that all Cowboys must stand during the anthem.

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The NFL television ratings dropped almost 10 percent in the 2017-18 season, attributed in part to people upset that players were choosing to kneel during the anthem.

NFL owners pushed through a new policy this offseason which would have punished teams with fines if players demonstrated during the national anthem.

Philadelphia Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins and De'Vante Bausby raised a fist, as did San Francisco 49ers' Marquise Goodwin and Miami Dolphins' Robert Quinn, while his team-mates Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled. Players have been protesting police killings of black men, social injustice and racism as they kneel.

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Soon more players began to kneel during the anthem, and the controversy in the most popular sports league in America became a partisan talking point.

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Jenkins, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (who started the protests back in 2016) and ex-Niners safety Eric Reid are among several players who have explicitly stated their protests are in no way meant to disrespect the military and instead are directed at social injustice toward minorities in America.

The only thing I can say is that the National Football League and the NFLPA (players union) are obviously working together on it.

Over in Jacksonville, Telvin Smith and three of his Jaguars teammates also protested the anthem in their first pre-season game of the year.

The NFL added that they "remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issues affecting our communities".

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