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NFL Players And Sports Personalities Respond To New Anthem Policy

While the new National Football League (NFL) anthem policy pleases some, it also angers many others — many athletes, coaches, and sports personalities have spoken out against the decision.

Michelle Beadle commented on the situation and the tasing of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown:

Steve Kerr gave a candid response when speaking to reporters about the ruling. Kerr has been open about his support of Colin Kaepernick’s protest and the purpose behind it:

It’s just typical of the NFL, they’re just playing to their fanbase. Basically just trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism, nationalism, scaring people. It’s idiotic. But that’s [sic] how the NFL has conducted their business. I’m proud to be in a league that understands patriotism in America is about free speech and peacfully [sic] protesting. Our leadership in the NBA understands when the NFL players were kneeling, they were kneeling to protest police brutality, to protest racial inequality. They weren’t disrespecting the flag or military. But our president decided to make it about that and the NFL followed suit, pandered to their fanbase, created this hysteria. It’s kind of what’s wrong with our country right now – people in high places are trying to divide us, divide loyalties, make this about the flag as if the flag is something other than it really is – which is a representation of what we’re about, which is diversity, peaceful protests, right to free speech. It’s ironic actually.

Former NFL Quarterback Sage Rosenfels made several tweets to explain his position on the ruling:

Current NFL player Chris Long, who has been a vocal supporter of the protests also provided his thoughts:


Another current player in the league, Torrey Smith also made a statement:


Retired NFL player, Lance Moore:

With the ruling being made without consulting the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) could bring about legal challenges. Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated explains:

Players could argue that such a change will impact their wages, hours and other conditions of employment. To that end, a player could insist that while the new policy does not lead to direct league punishments of players, it nonetheless adversely affects the employment of players who do protest in ways that violate the new policy.

He continues:

This dynamic has potential legal significance, too: in union-management settings, workplace rules that have not been collectively bargained and that impact wages, hours and other working conditions can be challenged under federal antitrust law. Specifically, Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act prohibits restraints that competing businesses (NFL clubs) conspire to adopt and that harm competition more than they help.

The NFLPA released a statement alluding to future actions after reviewing the new policy with legal counsel. The organization’s full statement can be seen below:

The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new “policy.” NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about.

The vote by NFL club CEOs today contradicts the statements made to our player leadership by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about the principles, values and patriotism of our League.

Our union will review the new “policy” and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.

More from this situation is likely to break before the NFL begins their 2018 season later this summer.

Walter Yeates

Walter Yeates is a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter who embedded at Standing Rock with military Veterans and First People in December 2016. He covers a range of topics at Citizen Truth and is open for tips and suggestions. Twitter: www.twitter.com/GentlemansHall or www.twitter.com/SmoothJourno Muckrack: https://muckrack.com/walteryeates

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