The National Football League, the most profitable sports league in the world, is under fire by the African American community for recently announcing that NFL players and their teams will be fined if they choose to kneel or sit during the national anthem.
The statement issued to the media, says, “This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.”
President Trump quickly endorsed the decision during an interview on Fox & Friends. He stated, “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country. The NFL owners did the right thing.”
The kneeling protests started back in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, decided to sit during the national anthem at several preseason games. He told reporters that he was protesting police brutality and the mistreatment of people of color in America.
But this decision looks like it will backfire on the NFL big time because most of the players in the league are Black, and what if they all decided to ignore the fines and start kneeling anyways? Or even more, what if they all decided to just stop playing? Either way, the NFL suffer from bad publicity and would lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
In fact, many former NFL players are already strongly speaking out against the decision, saying that it takes away the players’ right to express their freedom to speech. Many of them are planning to fight the decision, and it’s expected that current players will also join in to push back on what many are calling “authoritarianism” and political pressure from Trump.