The NFL had it’s annual meeting in New York City on Tuesday, and it was decided that players can’t be penalized for kneeling during the National Anthem.
In addition, the NFL will also support the causes for which these players are kneeling- specifically for protests agains the criminal justice system. I’m surprised by the NFL’s tolerance towards these protests, and find it refreshing.
As we know, the controversy over this movement began with former 49s player, Colin Kaepernick. He is still an unsigned player, but set this peaceful protest into motion. It’s been a constant debate if telling players they have to stand during the anthem is against their First Amendment rights.
We’ve been waiting for the NFL as a whole to speak to this, but until now, have only heard from individual coaches and players. Even sponsors of teams have been transparent with their stance on this protest.
This decision from the NFL is more than an answer we’ve been waiting to hear; it’s a clear defense of the First Amendment.
The teams and individuals refusing to stand are exercising their right to protest and their freedom of speech. I can’t think of a protest more peaceful than this. Those who are up in arms about this, of course, include Trump.
In the New York Times piece, it’s said that Trump tweeted upon hearing the NFL’s ruling. He tweeted that it was “total disrespect for our great country!”
The only thing great about this situation is a corporation as large as the NFL promoting personal freedoms and the rights of it’s players. This is a swing at Trump, and I love it. The POTUS is screaming into the Twitter-sphere about football.
While he’s having his social media meltdown, Puerto Rico still doesn’t have power and he’s most recently upset poured gasoline on the White House for his response to a fallen soldier’s widow.
I have to applaud the NFL for it’s activeness in defending our First Amendment rights, while the President continually attempts to take them away.