Opening their seasons in empty stadiums due to the virus, NFL players knelt, raised fists or stayed off the field for the “Star-Spangled Banner” and the Black anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as teams brought racial injustice to the forefront.
Instead, the Seahawks and Falcons dropped to one knee where they had stood.After years of pleading with their league to act against systemic racism, NFL players were prepared to wait another 10 seconds to make their point.Teams opening their seasons in empty stadiums on Sunday knelt, locked arms, raised fists in protest or stayed off the field entirely for the “Star-Spangled Banner” and the Black anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as the once-reluctant league brought racial injustice to the forefront on the NFL’s first full slate of games.
In Atlanta, the teams wore armbands honoring civil rights leader John Lewis and staged the most striking of the day’s gestures: They watchedthe opening kickoff sail through the end zone for a touchback, dropped to one knee, and remained there for about 10 seconds before trotting off the field to resume the game.
“We’re taking this moment and making it a movement, not just as a race, a community or a team, but as a nation,” Falcons defensive end Steven Means said in a statement issued by the team. “It’s time to stand up, rise up and vote.”Lewis, the Georgia Congressman who died in July, was named an honorary captain for the game. The Falcons also wore shirts with his quote: “The Vote is the most powerful, nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society.”
While fans were absent everywhere except Jacksonville because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Minnesota Vikings hosted the family of George Floyd, who died in May in a videotaped killing that sparked national protests over police brutality against Black men.
Vikings players locked arms in the end zone about a half-hour before their game against Green Bay for “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the song unofficially known as the Black national anthem that was played before each game in Week 1 as part of the NFL’s social awakening.
Ten or so of Floyd’s relatives were then shown on the stadium video board from their perch in the upper concourse near the Gjallarhorn. The symbol of Norse mythology, which the Vikings took their name from, had been sounded before every game since 2007.
On Sunday, it remained silent.“We hope in silencing the Gjallarhorn today we can continue to call attention to these silenced voices and collectively work toward a better, more just society,” the team said.The Packers remained in their locker room for the two songs, following the lead of the Miami Dolphins, who
rather than participate in “empty gestures.” The Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets also remained in their locker rooms for the pregame ceremonies.ADVERTISEMENT“We don’t need another publicity parade. So we’ll just stay inside until it’s time to play the game,” Miami players said in the video. “This attempt to unify only creates more divide. So we will skip the song and dance and as a team we’ll stay inside.”
Other teams lined up on their sideline or along the goal line and locked arms. A few dozen players — was well as Indianapolis coach Frank Reich — knelt during the anthem, a silent echo of the 2016 protest by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick that forced the NFL to confront racial injustice in a way that Commissioner Roger Goodell and many of the league’s most powerful owners would have preferred to avoid.
Several teams made a point of stressing on Sunday that their protest was not unpatriotic — a point Kaepernick also made, but which was often drowned out by those — including President Donald Trump — latching onto the issue.“To be clear — we were not protesting the flag, the anthem, or the men and women who wear the uniform,” the Colts said in a statement. “The timing of this action is meant to highlight that the presence, power and oppression of racism remains inconsistent with the unity and freedoms of what it means to be an American.”
Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Patriots owner Robert Kraft joined their teams as they lined up on the goal line when “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was played before their games. Quarterback Cam Newton, who was making his New England debut against Miami, appeared to be singing along.
The Dolphins remained in their locker room, as they promised in their 2-minute, 15-second video featuring nearly 20 players trading pointed rhymes about the nation’s social protest movement.When the anthem began in Detroit, a slew of Lions walked off the field and headed toward their locker room; some remained on the field and knelt. On the other sideline, several Bears players took a knee while about 20 of their teammates waited for the anthem to end before jogging onto the field.
The NFL had been at the center of social justice protests in American sports ever since Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to call attention to the systematic oppression of Black people in the U.S. Kaepernick, who led San Francisco to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC title game the next year, was unable to get a job in the league in 2017 — or since.
But the football league was in its offseason when Breonna Taylor was shot in her own apartment by Louisville police in March; when a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes in May, killing him; when Jacob Blake was shot and paralyzed by Kenosha, Wisconsin, police in August; and when protests over those and other acts of violence against Black Americans erupted across the nation.
Goodellposted a video in June conceding that the league had been late in acknowledging the problem. Since then, the league has taken largely symbolic steps like allowing racial justice messages in end zones and on helmets and T-shirts.Some team owners have pledged money toward social justice causes or offered their stadiums as polling places for the November election.
___AP Sports Writers Steve Reed in Charlotte, North Carolina; Larry Lage in Detroit; Mark Long in Jacksonville, Florida; Kyle Hightower in Foxborough, Massachusetts; Dave Campbell in Minneapolis; Paul Newberry in Atlanta; and Mike Marot in Indianapolis contributed.Read more: The Associated Press »
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Did they play for free and donate their salaries to.....LMAO im sorry I couldnt finish that statement with a straight face The meaningless and juvenile protest behavior by the NFL players and management has sown the dragon’s teeth that may seriously damage their product, Donate your salaries. Abandon the season and march with the real protestors or be quiet.
Shameful There’s a black anthem now I suppose they say the official one is racist then? Give me a break.... Lift every voice is trash of a song More nonsense! I would have laughed my ass off if this would have backfired on the kicking team! BOYCOTT BOYCOTT Honestly, I’m kinda numb to the whole thing. We are in this together, with mixed beliefs. Give me some football 🏈
We Just Don’t Care. Sports has been so Good for Those Who Are Athletic. Let’s Support Those Who Can And Are Successful At School! That Includes Trades Like Car Mechanics, Plumbers, Electricians... They are lucky there are no fans..otherwise they will be booo..again. All minorities should have their anthem played then.
Nobody I know watches pre game or any of of these antics & just tune in later when game is in progress; we had 2 cops shot&then Blm trying to block entrance & shouting they hope cops die so this whole narrative is a sham!👎👎👎👎 I will not watch until they stand for the anthem and honor our flag. Empty stadiums will remain long after covid.
People Are Under Virus Attacks / Police Brutality/ Racist Attacks / Are Out Of Work & The NFL Want's To Play Games. Wow!!!🤦♀️🤦♀️😷😷😷 Remember I Just Said People Are Out Of Work! So Don't Use The Work Card. Players Need To Strike & Protest / Respect/ Protect The Children. STRIKE. I love that so many people are not watching pro sports because the players disgrace our national anthem.
I wouldn’t know, I didn’t watch one stinking second of that garbage I don’t wanna say this but STAY OUT OF POLITICS PLAYERS!! JUST PLAY YOUR SPORTS!! Not one of them condemned the riot and looting. You will kill your own sports. NFL is committing suicide NFLonFOX NFLonCBS I have asked this question numerous times to no avail: Why is The National Anthem played prior to sporting events? What does one have to do with the other
Just will not watch. Play ball, not politics. We don’t care what you think politically, just how you can run, etc Fuk em. BoycottTheNFL They lost me as a Fan. Play Football, don't preach to me. Chauvin was a bad apple who needed to be rooted out but that does not equate to systemic racism in America. This assumption fueled by media has led to riots, looting, injuries and even death. Kneeling for anthem disrespects country and just creates more divisions.
We'er lucky that people of color want equity and not revenge . Screw the nfl. Not in my home. Black lives do matter, but BLM does not...marxist. Here's the thing, the people these athletes are holding up as 'victims' attacked cops, didn't listen to lawful orders to stop, and in some cases armed. What part of COMMON SENSE are we missing here? I love black lives and COPs.
The NFL is the only seven figure job you can keep after torturing dogs, beating your wife, raping women, and protesting on company time while crapping on your employer's customers, the US Armed Forces spends millions in NFL advertising. Equality you say? How do we get that deal? LOL. AP is full on leftist propaganda these days. Are there any news sites left?
Thank you chiefs for standing for the National Anthem. Please continue to do so!! Please be an example for the others. PatrickMahomes It's so hard to be a professional, black athlete in America. The oppression is unbearable. BoycottNFL Just like Hollywood the world of sports will be kicking themselves in the balls if they don’t stay out of politics!
And dancing in the end zone is still a penalty Idiocracy. And then they all went home to their million dollar mansions in gated white communities. The End. Great story! Bye bye NFL Why do you keep naming the black anthem shouldn’t everyone know it. Idiots Who gives a shit. NFL who. sportsnotpolitics A year from today them raising their fists like communists will do nothing but continue to alienate their fans and cause further divide. I’d rather listen to real people fighting for change like kimKBaltimore who has real solutions! Trump2020
When it plays, I will take a seat. Got that from Kaperneck. And just like that they ended racism...congratulations Go NFL! 💓💓💓 It's amusing to see so many people claim they don't care about this or no longer care about the NFL, yet caring enough to go on Twitter and explain *why* they don't care. And this reader did not watch one second of NFL. I used to watch sports for a respite from the daily grind. Not no more. They can have at it and lose more viewers.
Y’all need to show The Chiefs and Houston how to kneel! Locking arms is not going to get it done! This is too serious to STOP Period! We need JUSTICE for: Breonna Taylor Jacob Blake George Floyd Sadly the list goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on! Amen! Yep - Massive search underway for gunman who brazenly walked up to a parked patrol SUV and shot two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies multiple times in what officials described as an ambush-style attack.
NFL donated to BLM a terrorist organization. Democrats and the NFL are the party of Did they mention the two LASDHQ gunned down by the coward for....absolutely zero reason? 🤔 The Black anthem Wtf is that? Having their own song is supposed to fix something nfl too big to fail but hope all ratings tank in the toilet.
Who cares about sports. The overpaid entertainers.! Excellent. Equality should be in everyone's face 24x7 until the cockroaches crawl back in their holes. Screw football black national anthem ? nfl Players should be fined. We can't let the game be changed to suit a class of people who will become a ruling class. Otherwise, each Class will revolt because they don't like how they being treated and demand changes, leading to more protests and rioting.
We live in the greatest country on earth.. It's not about the skin, it's about the sin.. We need Jesus. So I have one national anthem and they have one because they are black? And thats not rascist? That’s bs that they insult our national anthem that way. Sick of these fat cats ! Booooo! After giving the black man a bible, he can't understand why there's rac7sm, is it because whit3 folks don't practice what it preaches
Well there’s always curling. Don’t screw it up Canada. Brought in front of whom? Are they calling thier fan base racist? How is a BLACK ANTHEM not racist? 👍👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 And Americans clicked their tv’s off I turned the channel and turned back once the politics was removed. One step at a time. White Americans pay to watch violent hateful black NFL players hold up a racist black power fist and spit on the American flag. Mind Boggling.
It’s not due to covid, and they are in denial if that’s what they think, I don’t want to hear politics when I watch sports Thank God for the End of racism. Lol, asshats, all of them! Just wondering how many of these anti police and anti USA nfl players were running into the twin towers on 9/11 to save people?
F the NFL there is no black anthem ut is made up to appease That was today? So sick of this... I may watch football this season Ain’t about football any more. Out. .NFL Football is dead. After they keep kneeling game after game then what? Yawn. Don’t care. My TV was off. BackTheBlue FucktheNFL This is awesome
There’s a fair amount of NFL players that have a rapists name on the back of their jersey. Do you expect anything less? Any of these ass hats give a shit about those cops shot yesterday Probably not what a bunch of crap 💩 well if they keep disrespecting our flag, country, and fallen soldiers they will be empty long after Covid.
Death to the NFL Millionaires virtue signaling and lecturing the populace 🙄 It's bringing hate and divide to the nation. There is only one national anthem to unite the country. That would be, the Star spangled Banner. The other is meant to divide the country by color, and race. Congrats, You fell for the false narrative. You are now part of the problem!
LMAO, what a bunch of subservient boot lickers ....thanks for the update. Helped confirm why I will not watch any pro football this year. 🤮🤮🤮 Meh. If there was a white national anthem, what would it be? awwww Who cares what NFL does they are irrelevant CancelCulture Wait.. there's a black anthem? Nothing says racism like having an anthem that represents your skin tone. Isn't the goal to end racism? It seems like these people are pursuing the opposite goals.
The star spangled banner should be removed just like all the confederate crap! Fuck the NFL BoycottNFL nfl is unified in celebrating the killing of police officer's. 🖕🖕 assholes!! This crap has to stop NO interest Ok. So what regular Joe like me supposed to do with that information? I see them kneel and what? Raised fists and what? All I see them hating on me.
Black National Anthem ? That’s fucking racist What racial injustice? BoycottNFL FTHENFL Who's watching if no one is in the stands? It hasn't occured to me to turn on the TV this year. 🖕🏻the NFL The Ravens Stood for the Black Anthem and knelt for The Star Spangled Banner. The Black Supremacists have earned the lack of fucks I give about Black on Black Murders which will increase to levels not seen since the '90s.
Can any of you answer this question. Why do you people give cops the benefit of doubt instead of waiting on the evidence? Maybe the cops robbed him and he wanted payback. JustinTrudeau .. 🇨🇦 Peut faire ceci et Arranger Les MoTs De O’Canada... Ça Commence « Canada ME O Les terres et tous Les Ciels... ME MiCHEL J• MAiLLET; N’est PAS LA PiN Des SiENS; CAR Les ARBRes N’oNT Rien Donné et La PoLiTiQUe Fait ChiER; Les TAY Croit Marde Vaut L’ARGENT... »
Who cares Such oppression with all those millons 🤣 What bullshit Oddly enough, I stayed off every channel broadcasting any NFL game today. What a coincidence. And nobody cares 🤷🏻♂️ Disgusting They kneeled for both? Good. It’s been flying under the radar. We needed some athletes to bring it to our attention.
It’s not racial injustice it brats with money being assholes This picture was not during the anthem, it was after the kick off. Go woke, get broke They are funny anymore. But keep playing because I like to gamble on them. These guys are looked up by the audience, they need to do more than just raise their hand.
I personally feel a lot less racist. Also, great to bring attention to this little known issue. Brave of these millionaires to take a knee, in order to stand against the country where they have made their millions. But not one word from NFL players, no name taped helmets, no NBA teams refusing go play, for the beautiful girl murdered last Monday. Do all Blklivesmatter or nah? Only ones who get you attention for your fake actions.
When will we see NFL teams reflecting the racial distribution of their cities? The Black anthem is a joke. I’d be willing to bet Blacks are too diverse to believe this is “their” anthem. If anyone actually watched we wouldn't need the news to tell us what they did😄 Thankful for them! Thank you NFL! Ignore the conservative racist men
a national anthem that is race specific doesn’t scream “unity” Who’s care anymore 🖕 Curious...Any NFL players wear the names of the deputies in LA that were attacked and shot in the head yesterday? Will they denounce the assassin in LA? Love the raised fist. That should be their symbol. Liked it in 68 and even more now..
Come and start an NFL in Africa instead of stupid knees that no one listens to The black anthem was an empty gesture by the nfl. The NFL has blood on their hands this morning. They are spreading the lie that cops are evil. Only ISIS and now the NFL has inspired police assassinations. Should NFL be labeled a terrorist organization?!
Lame, useless gestures that accomplish nothing. Typical. Barf. Kneeling is a weak slave mentality
Up-and-Coming Republican Josh Hawley Celebrates NFL Fans Who Booed Moment of Racial UnityAre the Kansas City 'Chiefs' too woke? Missouri's senator wants 2024 primary voters to think so. When you’re a white supremacist, unity looks scary, I guess Fans booed when they linked arms. Like good little plantation workers they played the game so the owners could keep their money coming in. Too bad the Kansas City Racists - I mean Chiefs - didn't have the balls to walk off the field and tell those racists slobs to go to hell. HawleyMO great to know you’re a racist with a massive ego. Just like der fuhrer. BBCWorld cnni tarbellorg DCReportMedia AP bpolitics washingtonpost nytimes foxnation FOXNOW thedailybeast HuffPost thehill politico Salon
CBS NFL Announcers Told To Avoid Voicing Opinions On Racial, Social Justice IssuesTony Romo and other NFL on CBS announcers will call it like they see it on the field and not voice their own opinions on racial or social justice issues, CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said Tuesday. I guess they want better ratings than the competition Wise decision.. Y’all mad cause Tony said they’re fighting the right fight.
Duquesne University professor who used racial slur in class is put on leaveA professor in Pittsburgh has been placed on paid leave after a video shared on social media showed him using a racial slur in class and appearing to give students permission to use the slur 'because we're using it in a pedagogical sense.' pedagogy ain’t a good enough excuse For those of you with limited vocabularies, a pedagog is a person who gets turned on by feet. PAID leave. So they gave him paid vacations then?
Attorneys for men charged in Ahmaud Arbery killing deny racial motiveGregory and Travis McMichael have been jailed since they were arrested on murder charges in May, more than two months after 25-year-old Arbery was fatally shot while running in their neighborhood outside the port city of Brunswick. It is all about race, vigilantism because the victim is a black man and they were bored. For them it was about entertainment. I hope they hang. They are modern-day heroes, NOT criminals! Wow. So they would shoot anyone that jogs in their neighborhood they don’t know directly Feels like a weak murder defense.
Dear White People's Jeremy Tardy Exits Series, Accuses Lionsgate of 'Shameful Practices' of Racial Discrimination'I am calling out their shameful practices of discrimination and racial inequality with regard to how they have historically undervalued and lowballed people of color.' TooFab The fact I have no clue who the hell this guy is, is probably why he isn’t being paid a lot. TooFab 🤤 TooFab Why does promote racism so much?
Jeremy Tardy Says He's Leaving 'Dear White People' Because of Racial Discrimination'The fact that this has occurred behind the scenes of a show which purports to address systemic issues of racism and discrimination displays the very epitome of hypocrisy.' Haych_Pea The show is getting a 4th season on Netflix; he's lucky they didn't just axe the whole thing. They so often refuse the renegotiation after s3 & just stop the show. I understand him, but Netflix is notoriously shitty to their shows. Surrrrre it was about 'racial disparities' YET it was the second reason stated! The first being his salary demands not being met. And no decent person supports BLM! They're a racist, antisemitic, violent, marxist hate group! NOT A CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP! So glad I canceled Netflix!