Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

In an effort to end the ongoing debate around standing or kneeling during the national anthem prior to NFL games, Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a letter to team executives saying the league needs "to move past this controversy" and that a plan for doing so would be discussed at a league meeting next week. Goodell offered no details on the plan, but said "like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand" during the anthem, and that he wanted the matter resolved "together with our players." Goodell made only a vague reference to why the athletes are kneeling ― in protest of police brutality, particularly against unarmed people of color. Instead, he praised 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" ― without specifying what he later termed "critical social issues."

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He asserted that the kneeling "is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country. Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem," he said. "It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players." The letter was sent to all 32 teams.

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In early 2016, I began paying attention to reports about the incredible number of unarmed black people being killed by the police. The posts on social media deeply disturbed me, but one in particular brought me to tears: the killing of Alton Sterling in my hometown Baton Rouge, La. This could have happened to any of my family members who still live in the area. I felt furious, hurt and hopeless. I wanted to do something, but didn't know what or how to do it. All I knew for sure is that I wanted it to be as respectful as possible.

A few weeks later, during preseason, my teammate Colin Kaepernick chose to sit on the bench during the national anthem to protest police brutality. To be honest, I didn't notice at the time, and neither did the news media. It wasn't until after our third preseason game on Aug. 26, 2016, that his protest gained national attention, and the backlash against him began.
I looked to James 2:17, which states, "Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." I knew I needed to stand up for what is right.

I approached Colin the Saturday before our next game to discuss how I could get involved with the cause but also how we could make a more powerful and positive impact on the social justice movement. We spoke at length about many of the issues that face our community, including systemic oppression against people of color, police brutality and the criminal justice system. We also discussed how we could use our platform, provided to us by being professional athletes in the N.F.L., to speak for those who are voiceless.

After hours of careful consideration, and even a visit from Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and former N.F.L. player, we came to the conclusion that we should kneel, rather than sit, the next day during the anthem as a peaceful protest. We chose to kneel because it's a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.

It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel. We chose it because it's exactly the opposite. It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest.

It should go without saying that I love my country and I'm proud to be an American. But, to quote James Baldwin, "exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."

I can't find words that appropriately express how heartbroken I am to see the constant smears against Colin, a person who helped start the movement with only the very best of intentions. We are talking about a man who helped to orchestrate a commercial planeful of food and supplies for famine-stricken Somalia. A man who has invested his time and money into needy communities here at home. A man I am proud to call my brother, who should be celebrated for his courage to seek change on important issues. Instead, to this day, he is unemployed and portrayed as a radical un-American who wants to divide our country. - Eric Reid SF 49er player

Just so we don't forget why the protest started in the first place.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2017-10-10 05:11 PM | Reply

After all the NFL is being paid millions by the military to put on this display on patriotism, which has everything to do with money. One disgusting patriotism trap is constantly conflating the loyal brave service of our volunteer military and their need for our support with the vile intentions of our leaders that take us into war based on lies.

#2 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-10 05:22 PM | Reply

Nothing says "Freedom" like Force

It's in the concomconstitutionz

Sincerely

Snipjeffgnoleocenter

#3 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2017-10-10 05:44 PM | Reply

It's polite to stand for the Anthem. If they make it a rule to stand I'm staying on my ass.

#4 | Posted by Zed at 2017-10-10 06:00 PM | Reply

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color," Kaepernick told Steve Wyche of NFL Media. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

It is about the flag

#5 | Posted by homerj at 2017-10-10 06:24 PM | Reply

It is about the flag

If you're an idiot.

#6 | Posted by jpw at 2017-10-10 09:57 PM | Reply

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag...."

Pride is not analogous to respect. One can show respect without feeling pride. And you miss that this statement was made before the decision to kneel was even made. Kap sat for two games before the media even noticed what he was doing. Kneeling was a compromise made after consultation with a former Green Beret and NFL player:

We spoke at length about many of the issues that face our community, including systemic oppression against people of color, police brutality and the criminal justice system. We also discussed how we could use our platform, provided to us by being professional athletes in the N.F.L., to speak for those who are voiceless.

After hours of careful consideration, and even a visit from Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and former N.F.L. player, we came to the conclusion that we should kneel, rather than sit, the next day during the anthem as a peaceful protest. We chose to kneel because it's a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.

www.nytimes.com

#7 | Posted by tonyroma at 2017-10-10 11:17 PM | Reply

The NFL isn't kneeling, they are getting down on both knees for Trump.

#8 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-10-10 11:19 PM | Reply

The NFL isn't kneeling, they are getting down on both knees for Trump.
#8 | POSTED BY TRUTHHURTS

No they getting down on their knees to make payroll ....

#9 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2017-10-10 11:46 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Kap sat for two games before the media even noticed what he was doing. - TonyRoma

Nice try, not here in the BayArea it was in the SJMercury, due to his PoliceArePigs socks.....

#10 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2017-10-10 11:47 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

LOL well well well, I would think Liberals would like the reason why Goodell made this proclamation....

Trump threat to NFL over 'massive' tax breaks
www.bbc.com

LOL

#11 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2017-10-11 12:41 AM | Reply

"LOL well well well, I would think Liberals would like the reason why Goodell made this proclamation....

Trump threat to NFL over 'massive' tax breaks
www.bbc.com

LOL
#11 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2017-10-11 12:41 AM"

LOL indeed.
Sounds more like President Trump taking credit for something somebody else has already done (in 2015!).
SSDD

"I know there was some suggestion this morning that the NFL is the recipient of huge tax breaks," Lockhart said. "I think as most of you (k)now the NFL gave up its tax-exempt status in 2015, and I think we were quite open about why we were giving it up, because it was a distraction. As those of you who know our business model, even when we had the tax-exempt status, it did not result in a tax break because the money moved to the clubs and was taxed at the club level, all 32 clubs, taxed as appropriate with most federal, state and local authority as given in each of those municipalities."

www.nfl.com

#12 | Posted by TrueBlue at 2017-10-11 05:16 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Why Colin Kaepernick Took a Knee (US Army Veteran, Nate Boyer)

#13 | Posted by tonyroma at 2017-10-11 08:56 AM | Reply

www.youtube.com

#14 | Posted by tonyroma at 2017-10-11 08:57 AM | Reply

Kap says in his own words why ""I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color," and you all come along to carry his water and explain what his words really mean..... Weak. His words. He owns them.

#15 | Posted by homerj at 2017-10-11 11:09 AM | Reply

It is incredibly disturbing to have the President tell people when to stand.

This should be between the players and the league and the fans.

Our constitution is supposed to protect us from this.

Next he will tell us to kneel in his presence.

#16 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-10-11 11:30 AM | Reply

#15

See post #7. Reading is fundamental.

#17 | Posted by tonyroma at 2017-10-11 01:28 PM | Reply

The NFL realizes it is affecting their pocket book but the players haven't got a clue.

#18 | Posted by Sniper at 2017-10-11 02:13 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

It is incredibly disturbing to have the President tell people when to stand.

#16 | POSTED BY BRUCEBANNER

I agree.

The NFL has rules about everything (hell the dress code for on field is 5 pages long) and this is not a rule that they have, that any of these players agreed to follow. I am not a fan of kneeling for the anthem. However as protest go this is a very peaceful and well meaning protest, that does not infringe on anyone else's freedoms. The suggestion from Trump and Goodell, that they now stand is anti-freedom of speech and is disgusting.

IMHO If the NFL wants these players to stand for the anthem they should have talked to them and found a more suitable way for them to show their support for the issue. They could have and still can, do something similar to what they do for Breast Cancer Awareness, so that each player can show their support for this issue.

#19 | Posted by PinkyanTheBrain at 2017-10-12 02:33 PM | Reply

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