Last month the NFL instituted a new policy requiring athletes to stand for the national anthem or, if they chose not to, to remain in the locker room while it is played. It turns out that the players are not happy about it.
The protests evolved over the season to focus on an anti-Trump platform. President Trump made it clear that he believes standing for the flag during the national anthem is one of the highest honors an American could pay toward his country. To mend past wounds, he offered to address any grievance the NFL players might present to him by way of potentially pardoning one unjustly punished.
So far, the players have yet to respond.
The policy at the very least is controversial and has played the NFL at the center of a cultural divide pitting differing political sentiments against the other. What started as a protest against police brutality has morphed into something much larger that strikes at the heart of the nation.
The heart of that nation seems to be shaken, its flag assaulted. Those who choose to protest by kneeling while the national anthem is played are doing so to exercise not only the already-mentioned issues, but to assert their own right to be free and independent, and to stand (or kneel) for whatever cause they feel it’s worth sacrificing for.
But to many others, the flag is a sobering reminder of the sacrifice paid in blood to uphold the very ideals that allow Americans to desecrate it. Those persons feel the flag is a symbol of American pride, American sacrifice, and selfless duty.
It may seem hard for working-class Americans to understand why professional athletes, most of them paid millions of dollars a year, would use sport as a platform to leverage political views. Perhaps that was why NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell instituted the policy.
According to Fox News, the players may sue the league because of it. The decision may deepen the gap between owners and players, fans and players, fans and the NFL, even between political parties.
What do you think of this? Should the NFL Players Union sue the league for the policy? Are the owners right in instituting the policy in the first place?
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