NFL caves to Trump New policy requires on-field players, personnel to stand for anthem
NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer, it was announced Wednesday.
President Donald Trump praised NFL team owners for doing the “right thing” in requiring NFL players to stand during the National Anthem this season, and suggested those who don’t stand maybe “shouldn’t be in the country.”
Statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pic.twitter.com/1Vn7orTo1R
— NFL (@NFL) May 23, 2018
Nearly two years ago, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked a wave of protests in the US against racial injustice when he started taking a knee during the pre-game US national anthem.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour,” the biracial athlete from Wisconsin, said at the time.
The move by owners stems from the silent protests that began in 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the anthem to draw attention to racial injustice.
The Washington Post’s Fatal Force database counted more than 980 people killed by police in 2017. The Guardian documented more than 1,090 police killings the previous year. Nearly a quarter of those killed in 2016 were African American, although the group accounts for roughly 12 percent of the total US population.
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” Kaepernick said.
‘Dangerous and un-American’
“Telling peaceful protesters to leave and do it behind closed doors is dangerous and un-American,” the non-profit organisation said on Twitter.
The NFL players’ protests have never been about the military or the flag. They’re about police brutality and white supremacy. Failing to protest injustice in America is not patriotic, it’s dangerous. #TakeAKnee
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 23, 2018
“Respect and love for America doesn’t require blindness to America’s failure to honour its promise of racial justice and equality – failures that are made even more evident each time the police murder a person of colour and get away with it,” ACLU said in a statement.
The league’s decision has sparked a social media storm, with many on Twitter criticising the new rules.
Statement from Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson pic.twitter.com/4JObk43oDT
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 23, 2018
Statement from Owner Shad Khan on today’s NFL national anthem policy vote: pic.twitter.com/Ri4HQDhyvs
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) May 23, 2018
Stand for the national anthem!
If you are a player in the NFL earning millions you aren’t oppressed. You should be kissing the ground thanking God you were born in America
Only in America can you earn millions playing football and then act like you are a victim
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) May 24, 2018
The NFL is 80% black. Imagine if they all sat out a Sunday or two…
— Travon Free (@Travon) May 23, 2018