CHARLOTTE, NC – Critics criticize the NFL’s new policy that requires everyone on the field during the national anthem to stand up.
The rule change comes two years after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
Under the new rules, players can stay in the locker room during the Star Spangled Banner, but if they are on the pitch they must remain standing or the team could face fines.
Eyewitness News anchor Blaine Tolison found Panthers jerseys and flags using the American flag and spoke with veterans about the new policy.
[NFL owners approve new national anthem policy, will fine teams that allow players to kneel]
We couldn’t find any Panthers gear in the official Uptown store with the modified US flag, but we did find it online.
This is one of the many ways critics are now attacking the NFL when it comes to patriotism.
How did the new NFL policy on the national anthem go? Like pouring gasoline on a bonfire.
Former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels is gaining the most attention after tweeting about the topic 20 times in the past 24 hours.
In one, he highlighted the American Flag Code of Respect for the Flag, where it states that the flag should never be worn as clothing and never used for advertising purposes, but the NFL is very committed to American patriotism.
We found official NFL Panthers jerseys, including T-shirts, and even a flag depicting an interpretation of the American flag sold on the NFL and Panthers online store.
However, many are happy with the NFL’s new anthem policy.
Sylvester Davis, retired from the US military, said racial differences were cast aside while serving in Vietnam.
“Talk about kneeling. This is just garbage,” Davis said. “They don’t really understand what it really means to stand up and honor your country. It wasn’t black and white issues or anything like that. We were all the same.”
Some free speech advocates say arguing about kneeling, standing or staying in the locker room is not about patriotism.
New Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted about the rule: “The league means guys disrespect the flag when they kneel. People who think so don’t know why the players chose to protest in the first place. “
Critics: NFL decision picks main appeal over players
WASHINGTON (AP) – With its decision to ban kneeling during the national anthem, critics accuse the NFL of prioritizing the financial good graces of the American general public over the social justice passions of its players trying to draw attention to the deaths of Africans. Americans in the hands of the police.
Some opponents of the new policy are now swearing never to watch an NFL game again.
The new NFL anthem policy – similar to the NBA rules in place for decades – requires athletes to represent “The Star-Spangled Banner” or be off the field while it is being played.
Critics say the league acted without input from its predominantly black players and bowed to pressure from some big announcers and even President Donald Trump, who rallied his predominantly white base against the players for failing to display their patriotism, shifting the debate from social justice for minorities to how to act during the hymn itself. Others, including some players, applauded the league’s action or did not challenge the policy.
“I think they took this decision to appease Donald Trump and those like him who blindly equate the defense of the national anthem with patriotism,” said U.S. Democratic Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. “The country I want is a country where everyone wants to defend the national anthem,” said Richmond, emphasizing the word “wants”.
Vice President Mike Pence tweeted “#Winning” and declared the decision “a victory for the fans, a victory for (President Trump) and a victory for America”.
The NFL began requiring league players to be on the field for the anthem in 2009 – the year it signed a marketing deal with the military. His new rule adopted on Wednesday allows players to stay in the locker room during “The Star-Spangled Banner” but requires them to stand if they come onto the pitch.
Kneeling during the anthem has been a problem since August 2016, when now unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting the deaths of African Americans at the hands of police. The issue moved from the pitch to the lounges as other players joined in and turned into a larger discussion last fall when Trump called on NFL owners to fire players who didn’t. held upright during the national anthem.
“It’s white supremacy, period. A blatant and disgusting attempt to rob black athletes of their voice and reduce them to a number on a jersey – while still enjoying their bodies,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of the advocacy group. Color of change.
Bree Newsome, who climbed a pole to snatch the Confederate flag at South Carolina State House in 2015, tweeted: Football question. It’s about using one of America’s biggest stages to strengthen the racial caste in America. “
Civil rights groups denounced the decision.
“Instead of working together to solve an issue that disproportionately plagues the majority of NFL player communities, the owners instead want the players to hide their heads, shut up and play football,” the president said. from the NAACP, Derrick Johnson.
Kaepernick and other NFL players who knelt said their protests were about shootings and other mistreatment of African Americans by law enforcement. The quarterback did not resign by the San Francisco 49ers after starting his protest and has not played for an NFL team since. He grieved the league, as did workplace safety and his colleague protester Eric Reid.
Calls to boycott the NFL over the anthem decision began immediately online. NFL fans had previously threatened to boycott the NFL because the players were kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner, and others said they wouldn’t watch until Kaepernick was signed by a team. Now a new group promises not to watch pro football games.
“As a former NFL player I am extremely conflicted, but I will most likely only support until this is resolved, among other issues,” said Matthew A. Cherry, who played for the Jaguars. of Jacksonville, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Carolina Panthers and the Baltimore Ravens. .
The NFL Players Association has said it will challenge any changes that violate the collective agreement.
“It’s the fear of declining results. It’s also the fear that a president will turn his base against a company,” Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long said on Twitter. “This is not patriotism. Make no mistake. These owners don’t like America any more than the players who are protesting and taking real action to improve it. It also allows you, as a fan, to know where our league is at. “
Cardinals Safety Antoine Bethea, a 12-year NFL veteran, said “fining players for really expressing what they believe, I think that’s a bit of a stretch.”
Others said they approved of the compromise.
“I’m going to defend the national anthem,” Denver defensive end Derek Wolfe said. “All other people want to do is make their decision and they have the right to have their opinion. So they can do whatever they want – as long as they stay in the locker room, I guess. “
Pittsburgh Steelers goaltender Ramon Foster shrugged when asked about politics and said that in a way the players are powerless.
“If the team says, ‘This is what we do’ and the property (does too), you take care of it or you’re probably going to be cut,” Foster said.
Cox Media Group