The moment solidarity overcame division
It was quite a sight to see this past Sunday, as NFL owners stand alongside players in the on-going protest against social injustices everywhere. Unified, several teams all across the league participated in the protest by kneeling during the National Anthem. Following, President Trump’s statements disregarding their right to kneel, has sparked controversy and encouraged division among the Nation.
President Trump did what he does best, and took the national debate to twitter, adding, “The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can’t kneel during our National Anthem!”
The President has also publicly stated that any “son-of-a-bitch” kneeling during the anthem should be “dragged off the field, and fired.”
Some teams however, decided to stand and lock arms in solidarity during the anthem. Jacksonville Jaguar’s owner, Shadid Khan is the first owner to stand and lock arms, officially declaring that it was an honor and a privilege to stand with his team, adding, “Even if we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation.” It is unclear if the protests will continue in the weeks to come, but Khan has stated that he will not maintain his appearance alongside the team.
Other teams decided to skip the National Anthem altogether, refusing to appear on the field as the anthem rang. Not a single Seattle Seahawks member stood on the field during the Anthem, while Pittsburgh Steelers Tackle Alejandro Villanueva stood on the field alone.
While each team had their own response to the National Anthem in addition to their own way of protest, Americans across the country are asking what will happen next. As NFL teams divide, so do Americans, evoking hostility across a U.S. tradition. Twitter’s trending hashtag #TakeaKnee supports players right to protest, using their positions of power to make a statement. Alternatively, others are in disagreement. Some believe that kneeling during the National Anthem is neither respectful to the country, nor the place for politics.
In the next coming weeks, it is unclear how the NFL will handle these protests and whether or not President Trump will instigate further complications.