A week after the NFL‘s Protest Sunday, teams continued to struggle to find a common means of satisfying three highly competing, and apparently irreconcilable, needs: respecting players’ right to speak, respecting the wishes of fans who didn’t want to see protests, and continuing to stand up to President Donald Trump’s unrelenting attacks on the NFL. Here’s a roundup:
Several teams announced their plans for a unified front prior to Week 4’s Sunday games. The Denver Broncos indicated they would stand as a team, while the New Orleans Saints intended to kneel as a team before the anthem and then stand with locked arms during it.
• President Trump continued to pound the stand-for-the-anthem drum, tweeting multiple times on Saturday about the NFL:
Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017
• Fox Sports announced prior to the week’s games that it would sidestep much of the controversy by not showing the anthem or any protests during it.
“As we have in previous broadcasts of NFL games from London, Fox will show the National Anthem as well as God Save the Queen live. As is standard procedure, regionalized coverage of NFL game airing on FOX this Sunday will not show the National Anthem live; however, our cameras are always rolling and we will document the response of players and coaches on the field,” Fox Sports said in a statement.
• Prior to the day’s first game, at least three members of the Miami Dolphins knelt during the playing of the anthem in London:
You could see three Dolphins players kneeling in the wide shot, but Fox never showed them pic.twitter.com/AATSZefH01
— Andrew Harris (@amharris26) October 1, 2017
• Many Jacksonville Jaguars players knelt before the anthem:
Jaguars players kneeling in prayer before the National Anthem. pic.twitter.com/fEi3Jstf69
— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) October 1, 2017
• The Baltimore Ravens knelt prior to the anthem, and did not receive a favorable response, which would seem to suggest that the fans aren’t really upset about the players protesting during the anthem, but rather that they’re protesting at all:
Ravens players kneel before the national anthem to pray for unity and equality, and fans boo the crap out of them
— David Steele (@David_C_Steele) October 1, 2017
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) October 1, 2017
• The Los Angeles Rams, who didn’t play last Sunday, locked arms prior to the team’s game with the Dallas Cowboys. Linebacker Robert Quinn continued to raise a fist during the anthem, the way he has done for some time. The Cowboys, meanwhile, did not take any action, either kneeling or locking arms.
• The Oakland Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch arrived for his afternoon game with the Denver Broncos sporting a “Everybody Vs. Trump” t-shirt.
• According to local media reports, all of the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers stood for the anthem, with the exception of Giants DE Olivier Vernon, who knelt.
• The San Francisco 49ers put forth a strong statement by having both players and ownership on the field together:
— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) October 1, 2017
Afterward, the 49ers issued a unified statement:
• The Indianapolis Colts offered up a specific statement outlining why the team is protesting and what fans can expect in the future:
A statement from our players: pic.twitter.com/B844SSbW73
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 1, 2017
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.
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