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Major League Soccer allowed fans at match in Texas, and they booed national anthem kneelers

Major League Soccer is the only major professional sports league in the U.S. allowing fans to attend games, and fans in Dallas quickly voiced their disapproval for social justice protests during the national anthem, the Guardian reported.

FC Dallas and Nashville SC played Wednesday in Frisco, Texas, a city just outside Dallas. Players from both teams took a knee during the national anthem before the game as a form of social justice protest, similar to the protests seen in the NBA and MLB.

Fans were not pleased. From the Guardian:

There was a smattering of boos when players from FC Dallas and Nashville SC collectively took a knee during the national anthem before their MLS game on Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas.

Dallas defender Reggie Cannon said he was disgusted by the boos at Toyota Stadium when players and officials knelt to call attention to racial injustice. He said teammate Ryan Hollingshead turned to him afterward and said he was sorry.

Dallas player Reggie Cannon was highly upset with the fans’ reaction to the players’ protest, and he didn’t hold back in his criticism of his team’s supporters.

“You can’t even have support from your own fans in your own stadium. It’s baffling to me,” Cannon said, according to the Guardian. “As a team we try to give the best possible product on the field and these last six months have been absolute hell for us. Absolute hell. You got fans booing you for people taking a stand for what they believe in. Millions of other people support this cause and we discussed with every other team and the league what we’re going to do and we’ve got fans booing us in our own stadium. How disgraceful is that? Honestly, for lack of a better word, it pissed me off.”

Cannon also said players had asked for the anthem not to be played before the game because it didn’t feel right in the moment.

Cannon didn’t elaborate on why the past six months might have been any more hellacious for the players than for anyone else enduring the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and national unrest, or why fans would be obligated to support their protest just because they attended the game.

The game was played at Toyota Stadium, which has a capacity of 20,500. A maximum of 5,000 could have attended, although fewer than 3,000 showed up, according to the official count.

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NFL legend Herschel Walker blasts athletes supporting Black Lives Matter movement: ‘I’m for American Lives Matter because I’m an American’

NFL legend Herschel Walker says he fully supports “American lives matter” — because he is an American first and foremost.

Walker has also spoken out in condemnation of kneeling protests over the last several days.

What are the details?

In a Monday night social media post, Walker detailed what he referred to as a disturbing incident that he witnessed Sunday night during a workout.

He captioned the now-viral video, “America wake up … if we love our Country, let’s speak up, stand up and protect it!”

“I saw a bunch of people holding a BLM sign burning the Holy Bible, flag of the United States of America, and a cross,” he said. “I started thinking, NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB — is this the people you’re supporting right now? Is it the movement? Is it the organization? Because I don’t think that’s right.”

He continued, “We cannot continue to sweep stuff underneath the rug because sooner or later we’re going to stumble. People, are we being fooled?”

That same evening, Walker appeared on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle,” where he blasted athletes for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

He also defended Jonathan Isaac, prominent NBA player who refuses to kneel, and insists it’s his duty to respect God and country.

“Why does a player need to decide who he is for?” he asked. “What BLM are you supporting? … The organization is not something that speaks for a lot of people.”

He later added, “I’m for ‘American Lives Matter’ because I’m an American.”

‘What is your endgame?’

The Heisman Trophy winner from Georgia has been very vocal about the national anthem protests over the last several days.

On Saturday, Walker told Fox News’ Jeannine Pirro that it “hurts” to see professional athletes taking a knee during the national anthem.

“We were taking a knee a couple years ago and what did it accomplish? I said, ‘Guys, what is your endgame? What do you want? No one is saying what they want,” Walker reasoned. “I saw where they say they want justice for Breonna [Taylor] and I do too, but what does that mean? Why don’t people give solutions rather than do things against the greatest country, which is the United States of America?”

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Commentary: Let’s end the absurdity surrounding anthem kneeling

You can kneel during the national anthem and still love America and support police officers. You can stand during the national anthem and still believe black lives matter and police brutality is wrong.

The primary narrative surrounding a peaceful protest should be the issue being protested, not an obsessive accounting of which individuals choose to participate and which ones don’t.

Everyone who kneels during the national anthem is not saying the same thing. Some of them are publicly expressing their opposition to police brutality. Some of them are protesting racial injustice in broader terms. Some are supporting Black Lives Matter. Maybe some of them actually do hate America. I imagine many, if not most of them, don’t really care and are just doing whatever it takes to not get criticized.

Everyone who stands during the national anthem isn’t saying the same thing. Most people stand during the national anthem because it’s just what you do during the national anthem. Some people are standing because they don’t want to get lumped in with Black Lives Matter, the organization. Most people who stand are probably not making a statement of protest against black people; they are just doing a normal thing.

It doesn’t take any particular courage to stand for the national anthem, or to kneel for the national anthem. There aren’t any real consequences for either choice. Let’s stop with the hero worship of people who make the choice we prefer.

It’s ridiculous to approach a black American who chooses to stand for the national anthem and ask him whether he believes in black lives matter. It’s actually a stupid question.

A movement seeking justice for black people is destined to fail when we start turning on each other. When a movement called “Black Lives Matter” begins attacking black people who don’t act a certain way, it has lost its way. To say “black lives matter” is a lie if it excludes black people who express themselves differently than the mainstream.

Sometimes basketball players just want to be basketball players, and they should be allowed to do that. The issue of race in America is complicated, and many professional athletes simply aren’t informed enough to have helpful thoughts on it. We should encourage them to learn, but not force them to be activists.

Sometimes basketball players want to be activists, and they should be allowed to do that. If they choose to take on that role, they should take care to be informed and wise in how they express themselves, because they will be held to account for their activism. It’s fair game if that’s a path they choose.

If you really like sports, but you can’t stand to watch games because some people don’t stand for the national anthem before the game starts, that’s a bit silly, but it’s your right to turn away. It’s worth asking, though, whether you hold other organizations to that same standard for them to earn your business, and if not, why that might be.

Our society is really going insane. It’s like we’re incapable of reasonableness and moderation and compromise. Everything is a battleground.

We need to get rid of a lot of bad police officers. We need to create more accountability at a lot of police departments. We need to get some incompetent political leaders out of office in the process. We need to support the police officers who are willing to put their lives on the line for the members of their communities every day. None of that has to be a contradiction.

We need to fight racial injustice. We need to correct any system, big or small, that reinforces racial inequality. We need to be angry when a black person is unnecessarily and unjustly killed by police. We need to be angry when a person of any race is unnecessarily and unjustly killed by police. We shouldn’t try to make every white person feel guilty for all the racism of history. None of that has to be a contradiction.

We have a pandemic that has killed more than 150,000 people in this country, and put tens of millions of others out of work. We have literal riots in the streets almost every night in some cities in this country. We’re heading for an election where no matter who wins, the losing side is almost surely going to claim the results are fraudulent. Whether someone stands or kneels during the national anthem before a basketball game shouldn’t be anywhere near the top of our list of concerns right now.

If our nation fails some day, historians may note that our demise was largely due to the fact that we spent so much of our time fighting about things that don’t matter, while failing to address the things that do. This doesn’t have to be our story, but we’ve got to find some common sense.

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Oklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem even after threat from GOP congressman

Oklahoma City Thunder players took a knee during the national anthem before Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz after a Republican state representative suggested the team should lose state tax benefits for the protest, Yahoo News reported.

Oklahoma state Rep. Sean Roberts (R) said in a Friday statement that the state should “reexamine” the team’s tax benefits if the players showed support for Black Lives Matter by kneeling during the anthem in protest of racism and police brutality.

“By kneeling during the playing of the national anthem, the NBA and its players are showing disrespect to the American flag and all it stands for. This anti-patriotic act makes clear the NBA’s support of the Black Lives Matter group and its goal of defunding our nation’s police, its ties to Marxism and its efforts to destroy nuclear families,” Roberts said in a statement. “If the Oklahoma City Thunder leadership and players follow the current trend of the NBA by kneeling during the national anthem prior to Saturday’s game, perhaps we need to reexamine the significant tax benefits the State of Oklahoma granted the Oklahoma City Thunder organization when they came to Oklahoma.”

Roberts suggested that funding should be directed to police rather than used to give tax breaks to the NBA franchise that came to Oklahoma City from Seattle in 2008.

All players on both teams knelt during the national anthem before Friday’s game. Only a referee remained standing. Chris Paul, the Thunder’s top player, is the president of the NBA players union, and was involved in the agreement with the league to allow players to wear social justice messages on their jerseys instead of their last names.

Kneeling in protest during the national anthem is so ubiquitous in the NBA now that the few team members who choose to stand for the anthem are singled out and questioned about their decision. San Antonio Spurs coaches Gregg Popovich and Becky Hammon stood for the anthem Friday. Two players, Meyers Leonard of the Miami Heat and Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic, also stood.

Popovich declined to elaborate on his decision to stand, choosing instead to credit the league for allowing individuals to make their own decisions on the matter. Isaac explained that he supported anti-racism efforts, but emphasized his belief that only the Christian gospel was the answer to the problems in the U.S., not superficial demonstrations.

“I’m black…I’m not for racism and I don’t think that me not kneeling before the game and wearing a T-shirt makes me mean that at all,” Isaac said when questioned about his decision.

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Steve Kerr ripped for silence on China after complaining about critics of national anthem protests

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was slammed online for his silence on human rights abuses in China after complaining about critics of national anthem protests.

The NBA restarted its season on Thursday, the first games since shutting down in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, every NBA player, except one, has knelt during the national anthem.

Previously, the NBA had a rule requiring players to stand during the national anthem. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has dismissed the rule for the rebooted season due to the nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.

“I respect our teams’ unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem,” Silver said on Thursday.

On Friday, Kerr defended the kneeling protests and addressed critics who don’t support players kneeling during the national anthem.

“With NBA games now in full force, the inevitable race baiting ‘kneeling is a sign of disrespect!’ tweets are coming,” Kerr tweeted. “Our message is clear: We love our country. And we also believe that this nation can and must do better to eliminate racism and bigotry. That is why we kneel.”

Twitter users were quick to point out Kerr’s silence regarding China’s human rights abuses.

Kerr was mocked by conservative commentator Stephen Miller, who replied, “Steve, I speak for all Americans when I say we’re just relieved China has given you permission to once again speak out on important social and human rights abuses.”

National Review contributor Pradheep J. Shanker inquired, “Cool. You ready to speak out against China yet…or nah?”

Curtis Houck, Managing Editor at Newsbusters, asked, “Now how about ‘do[ing] better to eliminate racism and bigotry’ in China? Or do the concentration camps there not matter?”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) proposed that Kerr and NBA players respect the American flag.

“Here’s a better idea: stand for the anthem, to honor our Nation & the heroes who died for our freedom,” Cruz responded. “And then support school choice by donating 10% of your salaries for scholarships for low-income children to attend excellent schools.”

Noam Blum, Tablet Magazine associate editor, asked, “Any word on ESPN’s expose of your training program in Xinjiang or nah?”

The tweet was a reference to a bombshell report in ESPN that exposed violence in the NBA’s training academies in China. The report features testimony from anonymous American coaches who were employed at the NBA training academies, including one in the Xinjiang province where more than a million Uighur Muslims are imprisoned.

The report alleges that young players were physically abused by Chinese coaches and were not provided proper schooling, despite Silver promising that education would be “central” to the program.

“Imagine you have a kid who’s 13, 14 years old, and you’ve got a grown coach who is 40 years old hitting your kid,” a coach told ESPN. “We’re part of that. The NBA is part of that.”

The NBA specifically told the coaches not to reveal the abuse.

Last month, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) blasted the NBA for its close relationship with China.

The NBA is allowing players to select a message that will be displayed on the backs of their jerseys. The list of 29 approved social and political messages includes “Black Lives Matter,” “How Many More,” “Power to the People,” “I Can’t Breathe,” and “Anti-Racist.”

Hawley wrote a letter to Silver, which asked why there were no phrases “in support of victims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including the people of Hong Kong, whose remaining freedoms are being extinguished by the CCP’s newly-enacted national security law.” Hawley challenged Silver to allow NBA players to stand up for the Uighur Muslims who are being held in Chinese internment camps.

ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski lashed out at Hawley by cursing at the Missouri senator. Wojnarowski apologized and was suspended by ESPN for two weeks for the outburst.

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Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Stephon Tuitt declares he will never kneel for the flag: ‘Screw anybody’ who’s got a problem with that

Kneeling for the flag during the national anthem might be all the rage for most NFL players, but do not count Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt among them.

And unlike some NFL stars who initially appeared to take a stand against kneeling and then backpedaled and apologized, he is making no bones about his stance and seems to have no plans to retreat.

In fact, he has a response for those who might have a problem with his refusal to take a knee: screw you.

What did he say?

In a tweet Monday morning, Tuitt had a message for football fans, social justice warriors, teammates, or coaches who are all in on the national anthem kneeling movement: “I’m not kneeling for the flag and screw anybody who have [sic] a problem with that.”

He went on to note how he would not show disrespect to the flag of the country where his family — starting with his grandmother — found a home and prospered. The star lineman added that his family of immigrants came to the United States “the right way.”

Tuitt said his “grandmother was a [sic] immigrant from the Carribbean” who “worked her ass off to bring 20 people over the right way.”

“She had no money and educated herself to be a nurse,” Tuitt wrote, adding that his family matriarch is “living good now.”

Tuitt’s position stands in stark contrast to some other NFL stars who have been caught up in respect-for-the-flag controversies.

Fellow Steeler Alejandro Villanueva — a U.S. Army Ranger veteran who graduated from West Point and served three tours in Afghanistan — famously stood alone for the national anthem as the rest of his team stood in the tunnel on Sept. 24, 2017. His move was initially seen as a defiant stance against protesting during the anthem and was celebrated by many football fans and conservatives. He later apologized for the move, saying he had made a mistake that “threw his teammates under the bus unintentionally,” and explained that the whole event was a mix-up.

More recently, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees came under fire for saying he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America.”

“I love and respect my teammates, and I stand right there with them in regard to fighting for racial equality and justice,” Brees told Yahoo Finance in June. “I also stand with my grandfathers, who risked their lives for this country, and countless other military men and women who do it on a daily basis.”

Some of Brees’ teammates were upset over his remarks, including Malcolm Jenkins, who blasted his QB’s statement as “extremely self-centered.” Jenkins further stated, “We’re done talking, Drew. And people who share your sentiments, who express those and push them throughout the world, the airwaves, are the problem”

One day later, Brees was in apology mode: “I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused.”

“I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability,” he continued. “I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening … and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.”

(H/T: HotAir)

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Mike Ditka shreds anthem protesters: ‘If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country’

Famed NFL coach Mike Ditka says if people can’t respect the national anthem, they should leave America.

What are the details?

In a now-viral interview with
TMZ Sports, the beloved former Chicago Bears coach aired his grievances about people who don’t treat the country with utmost respect.

“If you can’t respect our national anthem, get the hell out of the country,” he sniped. “That’s the way I feel. Of course, I’m old-fashioned. So, I’m only going to say what I feel. I think there’s a way you protest, and there’s a way you don’t protest.”

Ditka, 80, also hit out at athletes who kneel during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“You don’t protest against the flag, and you don’t protest against this country who’s given you the opportunities to make a living playing a sport that you never thought would happen,” he added. “So I don’t want to hear all the crap.”

This isn’t the first time he’s spoken out against national anthem protests: In 2016, he blasted former NFL player-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick for ushering in the trend.

At the time, Ditka said, “I have no respect for Colin Kaepernick — he probably has no respect for me, that’s his choice. My choice is, I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.”


Mike Ditka Against Anthem Kneeling In New Football League, Leave the Country! | TMZ Sports

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Ditka, who is set to take over as owner and chairman of the X League — a woman’s tackle football organization — also said that if he has his way, no women will demonstrate during the X League games.

He added, however, that he doesn’t have final say in whether women will be permitted to kneel according to the league’s national anthem policy.

The outlet reports that the new league will feature eight teams in areas such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and is set to kick off in April 2021.

“These women are pretty and good-looking and want to knock the crap out of each other,” he joked. “We’ll see how it works!”

Of the league, Ditka also said, “Now from an ownership and executive perspective, I want to provide women a high-profile platform to compete against the greatest female athletes in the world while creating a destination league for millions of girls to aspire to play in.”

“It’s time to give women, and girls, the same opportunity to play the game that the men play,” he added.


X LEAGUE | WELCOME AMERICAN ICON AND HALL OF FAMER MIKE DITKA

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WNBA players decide not to kneel during national anthem — they just walk off the court instead

Forget taking a knee during the national anthem. That’s so yesterday.

As far as the WNBA is concerned, the NFL — and now Major League Baseball — can have that protest to themselves.

Instead, the New York Liberty and the Seattle Storm pulled out a new move: They just walked off the court as the national anthem played, EPSN reported.

What’s that now?

During the 2016 NFL pre-season, then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before games, and the movement caught on among many of his fellow players and continues to this day.

In the wake of the George Floyd killing and as social justice movements have gathered steam across the U.S., kneeling has become increasingly popular.

Apparently, it has become so popular that it’s now passé, so two WNBA teams decided to take it up a notch and garner more attention.

The Liberty and Storm elected to walk off the court Saturday during the playing of the national anthem before the WNBA season opener at Florida’s Feld Entertainment Center where all of the WNBA’s 22-game regular season will be played.

The players also took time to honor the memory of Breonna Taylor, a Louisville, Kentucky, EMT who was killed in March during a no-knock police search warrant in her home.

Police shot Taylor, 26, during a raid on her home to search for drugs — which were never found. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, believed the cops were home invaders and shot at them, striking one in the leg.

None of the officers involved in Taylor’s killing have been changed in her death.

Before the game, the Liberty’s Layshida Clarendon and the Storm’s Breanna Stewart addressed the cameras to promote the “Say Her Name” campaign and asked for a 26-second moment of silence.


Image source: ESPN video screenshot

WNBA teams are wearing Taylor’s name on their jerseys this year in honor of the young woman and as a call for justice in her death.

As with the NBA, the WNBA is all about social justice this year, ESPN noted:

Social justice is a major part of the season for the WNBA players. The words “Black Lives Matter” are on the courts at Feld. The Social Justice Council on Wednesday held a Zoom call with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, who shared memories of Taylor with the players. Also on the call were Georgia attorney and politician Stacey Abrams and professor Kimberle Crenshaw, who started the “Say Her Name” campaign that raises awareness for Black female victims of police brutality.

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Brett Favre says Colin Kaepernick should be considered a ‘hero’ like Army Ranger Pat Tillman

Brett Favre said that Colin Kaepernick, who lost his starting quarterback job to Blaine Gabbert and became a professional activist after NFL teams showed no interest in him, should be considered a “hero” like Pat Tillman, the football player who turned down a multi-million contract to become an Army Ranger following the September 11th terror attacks. Has Brett Favre taken too many hits to the head?

Favre gave an interview to TMZ Sports, where he made the bizarre comparison between the two former NFL players.

“It’s not easy for a guy his age – black or white, Hispanic, whatever – to stop something that you’ve always dreamed of doing, and put it on hold, maybe forever, for something that you believe in,” Favre said of Kaepernick.

“I can only think of right off the top of my head, Pat Tillman is another guy that did something similar,” Favre said. “And, we regard him as a hero. So, I’d assume that hero status will be stamped with Kaepernick as well.”


Brett Favre Compares Kaepernick To Pat Tillman, ‘I’d Assume Hero Status Will Be Stamped’

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In Kaepernick’s last two NFL seasons, he had a pass completion percentage under 60% and a QB rating under 50. Kaepernick’s poor play on the field and social justice distractions on the sidelines, including wearing socks depicting cops as pigs and praising Fidel Castro, prompted the San Francisco 49ers to reportedly consider releasing him in 2016, but before the team could let him go, Kaepernick opted out of his contract.

Despite having backup quarterback talent, Kaepernick allegedly demanded a starting QB job with a starting QB salary. No NFL team has signed Kaepernick since he opted out of his 49ers contract in 2016.

Without a football career, Kapernick became a professional activist. In 2018, his decision paid off. Despite not playing football, Nike signed Kaepernick to a contract to sell athletic sneakers that paid him as much as “seven figures.”

Pat Tillman was a defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals, and broke the franchise record for tackles in 2000 with 224. Then his world was turned upside down by the 9/11 terror attacks.

Following the 2001 NFL season, Tillman walked away from a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army.

“Sports embodied many of the qualities I deem meaningful: courage, toughness, strength etc., while at the same time the attention I received reinforced its seeming importance,” Tillman said in 2002. “However, these last few years, and especially after recent events, I’ve come to appreciate just how shallow and insignificant my role is. I’m no longer satisfied with the path I’ve been following… it’s no longer important.”

Tillman became a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, “the Army’s premier direct-action raid force.” He served tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2004.

“On the evening of April 22, 2004, Pat’s unit was ambushed as it traveled through the rugged, canyon terrain of eastern Afghanistan,” the Pat Tillman Foundation website states. “His heroic efforts to provide cover for fellow soldiers as they escaped from the canyon led to his untimely and tragic death via fratricide.”

Tillman was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star medals. The Cardinals retired Tillman’s jersey and there is a bronze statue of him outside the State Farm Stadium. Arizona State University named the football locker room entryway to Sun Devil Stadium, the “Pat Tillman Memorial Tunnel.”


The Truth Behind the Pat Tillman Story

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Trump is asked if Colin Kaepernick should be allowed to play football — he says ‘absolutely’

President Donald Trump was asked if the controversial figure behind the kneeling protests during the national anthem should be allowed to play in the NFL again, and he answered enthusiastically that he should.

The president was responding to a question from WABC-TV’s Scott Thurman on Wednesday when he made the comments about former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who hasn’t played since the 2016 season.

“If he deserves it, he should. If he has the playing ability. He started off great, and then he didn’t end up very great in terms of, as a player,” said Trump.

“He was terrific in his rookie year and then I think he was very good in his second year, and then I think something happened so his playing wasn’t up to snuff,” he continued.

“The answer is, absolutely, I would. As far as kneeling, I would love to see him get another shot but obviously he has to be able to play well,” Trump concluded. “If he can’t play well, I think it would be very unfair.”

The inquiry came during a national debate over recent deaths of black men, including George Floyd in Minneapolis, and most recently, Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, by police officers.

The president had previously told his rally audience in September 2017 that kneelers should be fired from their teams.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a b***h off the field right now?” he said to booming applause.

A recent poll found that a majority of Americans believed it was appropriate for players to kneel on the field as a protest. Also, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday that he hopes Kaepernick will help “guide” the league on issues pertaining to social justice, and he hopes a team will sign him.

Here’s the video of his Kaepernick comments:

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Majority of Americans now say it’s OK for NFL players to kneel during the national anthem

The majority of Americans now say it is appropriate for NFL players to protest by kneeling during the national anthem, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

The poll, released Thursday, found that the May 25 killing of George Floyd by former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin and subsequent protests against police brutality have moved public opinion significantly on the matter.

In the wake of nationwide demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter and similar protests, a majority of Americans, 52 percent, now agree that it is “OK for NFL players to kneel during the national anthem to protest police killings of African Americans.” Now, 36 percent of respondents say it’s inappropriate to do so. (The remaining 12 percent answered “not sure.”)

Both male and female respondents said they were OK with the action at a margin of 52% to 37% among male respondents and 52% to 34% among female respondents.

The biggest spilt was along political party lines, with 77% of Democrats but only 20% of Republicans supporting the practice. Pertaining to race, “77% of blacks, 57% of Hispanics, and 47% of whites answered positively.”

A major shift

In 2016, when then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick jumpstarted the practice, only 28% of Americans considered his actions “appropriate,” Yahoo News noted. Two years later, in 2018, as many other NFL players began joining Kaepernick in kneeling, the number jumped to 35% but failed to garner majority support.

Earlier this month, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees came under fire for saying that while he is heartbroken over George Floyd’s death, he will “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America” by kneeling during the anthem.

After swift backlash from teammates and many inside the sports world, Brees issued several apologies.

President Trump, who has always been adamantly opposed to kneeling during the anthem, took to Twitter to say that Drew Brees “should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag.”

It remains to be seen if, with increased support, more NFL players will take part in kneeling in protest should games resume this fall.

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US Soccer reverses itself, repeals rule requiring players to stand during the national anthem

The U.S. Soccer Federation voted to reverse a rule that required players to stand during the national anthem. “U.S. Soccer affirms Black Lives Matter, and we support the fight against racial injustices,” a Wednesday statement said.

The U.S. Soccer Board of Directors voted to repeal Policy 604-1, which prohibited players from kneeling during the national anthem.

“The policy was put in place after Megan Rapinoe kneeled in solidarity with the peaceful protest inspired by Colin Kaepernick, who was protesting police brutality, and the systematic oppression of Black people and people of color in America,” the U.S. Soccer Federation said. “It has become clear that this policy was wrong and detracted from the important message of Black Lives Matter.”

The U.S. Soccer Federation said it had “not done enough to listen — especially to our players — to understand and acknowledge the very real and meaningful experiences of Black and other minority communities in our country.”

“We apologize to our players — especially our Black players — staff, fans, and all who support eradicating racism,” the federation said. “Sports are a powerful platform for good, and we have not used our platform as effectively as we should have. We can do more on these specific issues and we will.

“It should be, and will be going forward, up to our players to determine how they can best use their platforms to fight all forms of racism, discrimination, and inequality,” the statement said. “We are here for our players and are ready to support them in elevating their efforts to achieve social justice.

“We cannot change the past, but we can make a difference in the future,” the statement concluded. “We are committed to this change effort, and we will be implementing supporting actions in the near future.”

Rapinoe kneeled during the national anthem at an international match in September 2016. The gesture was to show solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” before San Francisco 49ers preseason games before the 2016 NFL season.

“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 explained in August 2016 as his reason for the kneeling. “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 was a little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he’s standing for right now. I think it’s actually pretty disgusting the way he was treated and the way that a lot of the media has covered it and made it about something that it absolutely isn’t,” Rapinoe said in September 2016. “Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it.”

Last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier” following the backlash over George Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis police custody.

“We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier, and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” Goodell said. “We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.

“I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much needed change in this country. Without black players, there would be no National Football League, and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality, and oppression of black players, coaches, fans, and staff,” Goodell added. “We are listening, I am listening, and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”

Last week, New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees and his wife issued several apologies for making statements that condemned kneeling during the national anthem.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly castigated players who kneel during the national anthem. Most famously, President Trump said in 2017: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag, to say get that son of a b***h off the field right now?”

“You know,” Trump added. “Some owner’s gonna do that. He’s gonna say that guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.”

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Football legend Herschel Walker blasts the cancel culture that bullied Drew Brees into an apology

Football legend Herschel Walker recently defended Drew Brees’ right to express his opinion after the New Orleans Saints quarterback was met with swift condemnation for his comments about kneeling during the national anthem.

Brees had said during an interview that he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America.” But after swift and harsh backlash from many in the sports world, including some of his own teammates, Brees walked back his comments, saying they “completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country.”

The speed and severity with which Brees was condemned for his comments were notable and representative of modern day “cancel culture.” In essence, Brees, who by all accounts had been very popular around the league, was promptly ostracized simply for sharing an opinion that ran counter to mainstream views.

What are the details?

But in a radio interview with Glenn Beck on Thursday, Walker shot back at that notion, asking, “Why are people upset that he has an opinion?”

“You know, just because he doesn’t believe in what you believe in, why is people upset about that?” Walker said. “That’s what is great about America, is we have a right to choose. And if that’s the way he feels, it’s okay that he feels like that.”

The Heisman Trophy winner went on to argue that the reaction to Brees’ comment is representative of a broader problem with cancel culture, in general, though he did not use that phrase.

“Why in the world, can people not have an opinion today that they disagree with you? And if you disagree with someone, Glenn, you are going to be called a racist,” he said. “If I disagree with someone, I’m going to be called an Uncle Tom.”

“And I’m like, jeez. That means I can’t think for myself? Can I not think for myself, please? You know, that’s the reason, I think, people fought years ago. That’s what Martin Luther King marched about,” he added.

Listen to more of the interview here:


Heisman winner Herschel Walker is tired of riots & violence: ‘99.9% of police are good people’

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What else?

Earlier in the week, Walker, who currently serves as co-chair of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, made headlines for a social media post about the riots erupting in America over George Floyd’s death.

In the video post, he called out the rioters and politicians who are encouraging the rioters as well as criticizing the president.

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Drew Brees issues apology for remarks on national anthem protests after waves of criticism: ‘Breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused’

Saints quarterback Drew Brees is backtracking on his Wednesday remarks criticizing national anthem protests and has issued a passionate apology for his stance.

What’s a brief history?

During a Wednesday interview with Yahoo Finance, Brees discussed kneeling protests, insisting that it’s never OK to disrespect the American flag.

Many of his sports peers blasted Brees’ remarks, and even neighbors in New Orleans, Louisiana, cried out against him during protests on Wednesday.

He said, “I love and respect my teammates, and I stand right there with them in regard to fighting for racial equality and justice. I also stand with my grandfathers, who risked their lives for this country, and countless other military men and women who do it on a daily basis.”

The famed quarterback added that he would “never agree,” however, “with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America.”

What’s he saying now?

In Thursday remarks on Instagram, Brees said that he is heartbroken for offending people with his remarks.

“I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday,” he wrote in a lengthy post. “In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused.”

Brees explained that he entirely “missed the mark” on being able to carry on a constructive conversation about the ongoing protests as well as black equality in the United States.

“In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country,” he said. “They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy.”

Brees said that his words “misled” people into believing he is something that he is not.

“Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy,” he continued. “This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character.”

He clarified that he does, indeed, stand with the black community in the fight against racial inequality and police brutality, and insisted that Americans have not done enough to forge ahead with lasting changes.

“I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today,” he continued. “I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community.”

Brees said that he should have done better, and will fight for the black community and equality.

“I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement,” he continued. “I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right.”

He insisted that he has “ALWAYS been an ally,” and simply “never an enemy.”

“I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability,” he concluded. “I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening … and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen.
For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.”

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