Here's a a brief summary of an emotional and historic few hours in American Sports.
It began with a message from President Trump. From the New York Times:
President Trump on Sunday called for football fans to boycott N.F.L. games unless the league fires or suspends players who refuse to stand for the national anthem, saying that players must “stop disrespecting our flag and country.”
“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our country, you will see change take place fast,” Mr. Trump wrote, on the second weekend morning in a row in which he vented over the issue on social media. “Fire or suspend!”
Patriots Owner Robert Kraft issued this statement. From Patriots.com
"I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday. I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful."
Several Patriots players did kneel before the game. (Image above) Tom Brady and others remained standing yet interlocked arms.
This was also tweeted at game time:
"Bunch of Patriots, Texans players just paused on the field to clap for row of honor military. Just in case that doesn't make front page news."
The Steelers (With the exception of one player, a former Army Ranger) Seahawks, and Titans all refused to take the field until after the singing of the National Anthem.
A Seahawks statement from the New York Post:
“We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We remain committed in continuing to work toward equality and justice for all.”
The Dolphins players wore t-shirts stating “I’m With Kap” during warm-ups.
In baseball, Red Sox Manager John Farrell said he would support any actions by his players.
Pete Abraham tweeted " No Red Sox or Reds players took a knee in Cincinnati."
Perhaps USA Today sums up the protest movement the best:
"Be it Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King or Magic Johnson, sports has long been the prism through which we see society. And fondly as we regard those trailblazers now, that wasn’t always the case. Changing hearts and minds, getting people to shed their stereotypes and ignorance, took sacrifice, anger and, yes, even protest."
What do you think? How do you feel? What would you do? What will you do?
Drop me an e mail and I'll share some of the responses this week ... Jeff@sportschowdah.com
Check out Week 3 Highlights!