The 2017 NFL Preseason is over, and more controversy than ever is happening off the field. More players are kneeling, bars aren’t showing games and rallies are happening often.
Colin Kaepernick is yet to be signed by a team and two Chicago bars (Velvet Lounge, and The Bureau Bar) won’t show NFL games in support of Kaepernick.
The “United We Stand” rally for Kaepernick took place outside of NFL headquarters in Midtown Manhattan.
Senior Mulu Hiluf believes “the protest a year ago put him in a tough spot which caused a lot of controversy, and affected him more than his playing style.”
After the white supremacist protest at Charlottesville, in a game against the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long, who grew up in Charlottesville, put his arm around teammate Safety Malcolm Jenkins as a show of unity.
“I think it’s a good time for people that look like me to be there for people that are fighting for equality,” said Long, who is white.
Later that night against the Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr put his hand on teammate defensive end Khalil Mack’s back in a sign of unity.
“To show (that) different races can get along, white, black, whatever you are, get along and be friends and just show unity,” Mack said. “Show togetherness.”
Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch has not spoken to the media but sat during the anthem in every game, and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett plans to sit all season.
“I think the protest is important because it shows that people are still engaging in the current problems with society. I also think that it shows a tremendous amount of shock because many people think that our current generation aren’t aware of the protest or anything involving government,” said Hiluf.
The Cleveland Browns held NFL’s largest protest with many players kneeling. (Browns) tight end Seth Devalve is the first white NFL player to kneel for the national anthem.
“I wanted to take the opportunity with my teammates during the anthem to pray for our country and also to draw attention to the fact that we have work to do,” said Devalve.
Senior Nick Wright feels, “Everyone has the right to push and stand for what they believe in. But I feel that people, especially players, new players could be forced or pressured into doing something like this, it’s getting to the point to where if you don’t take a knee or sit, you’re the odd man out, and will probably get hate for it. Personally I think it’s a disrespect to America and everyone that’s fought to keep us free.”