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Week One Of The NFL Preseason Brings Player Protests And Outrage From The President

Two players from the Miami Dolphins kneeled during the national anthem

In May, the NFL took a hard stance against players who protest inequality during the national anthem. The league ruled its players must either stand during the anthem or stay in the locker room until the song’s conclusion.

Players who do not “show respect for the flag” will be fined for their actions.


But in late July, citing ongoing discussions with the NFL Players Association, the league rescinded the ruling. “The NFL has engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans,” the league said in a statement. “While those discussions continue, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem.”

When week one of the 2018 NFL preseason got underway on Thursday, August 9, four out of 12 games involved some form of player protest.

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Three Dolphins’ players, including Kenny Stills, were the only ones to kneel during the anthem. The gesture wasn’t lost on Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who started the movement.

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In Philadelphia, Malcolm Jenkins and De’Vante Bausby raised their firsts before their game against Pittsburgh. Jenkins, who’s been an outspoken advocate for social change, released a tweet before the game to explain his gesture.

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Much like a dog yapping at a squirrel in a tree, President Trump couldn’t resist commenting on the protests.

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Year three of player protests and the corresponding jeers from the patriotically-correct crowd, appears to be on its way. Maybe this will be the season the president, and many of his supporters, will realize the protests aren’t about patriotism, but asking America to live up to the values that make them stand for the Anthem in the first place.

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Julian Meehan

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Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

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