Washington’s Adrian Peterson, one of the greatest running backs in NFL history, seemed to speak for a majority of players when he said they plan to kneel during the national anthem this season.
Peterson said he plans to take a knee this season and he’s not the only one.
Adrian Peterson: Players ready to kneel
Peterson made the comments during a food drive in Texas. Peterson grew up in Houston. His quotes come from Greg Bailey of KTRK and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
#NFL great Adrian Peterson asked if he will take a knee at games this fall: "Without a doubt." Adds "We're all getting ready to take a knee together."— Greg Bailey (@GregBailey13) June 5, 2020
Asked about potential fallout from taking a knee, all time great @AdrianPeterson says with conviction: "Are they going to try to punish us all? If not playing football is going to help us save lives and change things then that's just what it has to be." #NFL— Greg Bailey (@GregBailey13) June 5, 2020
Adrian Peterson @AdrianPeterson said he plans to kneel during the anthem: 'Years ago, seeing (Colin) Kaepernick taking a knee, now we're all ready to take a knee together going into this season without a doubt.' Asked if he will take a knee: 'Without a doubt, without a doubt'— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) June 5, 2020
In 2016, the story that overshadowed the NFL was Kaepernick and other players kneeling to bring attention to police brutality and social injustice. Donald Trump used it to rally his base on the campaign trail, and NFL owners reacted in fear over what Trump would tweet about them. Television ratings dropped and those against Kaepernick’s message took credit, though there was never any evidence to back that up.
The issue pretty much faded away. Now the NFL has to confront it again.
NFL awkwardly handled kneeling first time around
The NFL awkwardly handled the whole situation. Owners overreacted to Trump using the issue as political fodder, something he did again after Brees’ controversial comments. The league didn’t know how to handle the entire issue, making clumsy attempts to figure out a policy. The NFL had to pay off Kaepernick when he brought a collusion case against the owners. Kaepernick is still unsigned.
The issue faded but the feelings from players didn’t. Plenty are still not happy their voices were silenced. Kaepernick lost his job in the NFL, as teams made poor excuses for why he was passed over.
Some players weren’t happy with the NFL’s reaction to recent protests after George Floyd’s death in the custody of Minneapolis police. Many players ripped Brees this week for his comments. And now they’re ready to take a knee in the fall.
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