football

Do Politics Have A Place In The NFL?

Oct 13, 2017

Freedom, respect and “taking a knee” in the NFL. The VP walks out. Trump threatens. What’s right here?

"Everyone should stand" during the national anthem, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a memo to all 32 teams, adding that the NFL will present a plan next week to help "move past this controversy."

In the memo sent Tuesday, Goodell said he is "very proud of our players and owners who have done the hard work over the past year to listen, understand and attempt to address the underlying issues within their communities" and expressed respect for players' "opinions and concerns about critical social issues."

Two weeks ago he locked arms and knelt with his players before the national anthem, then stood with them as it played. Now, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says players who "disrespect the flag," won't take the field.

This will be another weekend when America is transfixed by football – not for what’s on the field but on the sidelines. Taking a knee and knelling during the national anthem in protest against racial injustice in America is a hot button issue – largely due to the attention given it by President Trump.

Trump has called the players who decline to stand during the anthem unpatriotic, he has used profanity to describe them and has called on the National Football League to fire or suspend the players who use their constitutionally protected freedom of speech in this manner.  

A lot of people already know the story of Friday Night Lights, in which a West Texas high school fights for the state football title. It started as a nonfiction book, then it became a movie (with Billy Bob Thornton as the coach) and finally a TV series. In the film, Thornton tells his team that to win state, they'll have to beat "a team of monsters" from Carter High School in Dallas (which they fail to do).

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