While the NFL #TakeANew protest has primarily centered around the NFL, it has bled into other sports as well.
In MLB, Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell took a knee during the National Anthem on Saturday, according to AOL. The Oakland home crowd showed him their support.
In the WNBA, members of the Los Angeles Sparks were booed when they left the court before the singing of the National Anthem, according to Twitchy. Minneapolis Linx players chose to lock arms instead.
Even in Canada on Sunday, players for the Saskatchewan Roughriders locked arms in solidarity with the NFL protest during the singing of “O Canada,” according to Canada’s National Post. One Canadian team is actually trying to get former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick signed onto their team.
Now it seems like no athlete, no matter their profession, is immune from being questioned about their stance on whether NFL players should be using the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” as the time to protest racial injustices in America or President Trump’s words on the matter. Even professional golfers can’t escape.
There are few names more attached to the sport of golf than that of retired champion golfer Jack Nicklaus. On Wednesday, ahead of the Presidents Cup tournament in New Jersey, 77-year-old Nicklaus was asked his opinion on the matter during a corporate appearance for his long-time sponsor Rolex, according to Golfweek.
“I’ve probably got a lot of thoughts on that,” Nicklaus replied. “I suppose everybody has a right to display their first-amendment rights. I don’t think there is any squawk about that. But I think there is a time and place. I personally don’t think half the fellows that are probably doing it understand what they’re doing. I don’t think that the sporting field is the right place.”
He continued, “I know the president got involved in it. Wish he hadn’t. I know some of the owners who probably felt one way had to support their players, so you get a very confusing answer as to what you’ve got.”
But Nicklaus added powerful words, saying, “I personally have always felt like, no matter where I went in the world, no matter where I played golf, whenever the national anthem was played for any country I always stood and took my hat off and respected that anthem, and what it was, and what it meant to the people that were there. Every time the national anthem is played, I get — and I have for 60, 70 years — still get a chill up and down my spine. Every time it’s played. I think it supports, [and] honors, the meaning of people who have given their lives, who have given their time and effort for our country, and they need to be respected for that.”
“I think there’s a time and place, and I think they’ll figure that out over time. I don’t believe the national anthem is the place to do that — but I can’t fault them because it’s their right [to protest],” he continued.
“It’s a very difficult question to answer when you ask me,” Nicklaus acknowledge. “Everyone who answers that question cannot properly answer it. They don’t want to disrespect the rights of the kids. And you don’t want to disrespect our country. So how do you answer it?”
“Does it tell you that Alejandro Villanueva is the best-selling jersey since last Sunday? Does that tell you what people think?” Nicklaus asked.
What do you think of this? Meanwhile at the Presidents Cup, former President Obama did something shocking when the National Anthem played.