Kaepernick, who no longer has a job with any NFL team, began Arizona Cardinals Jerseys kneeling during the anthem in the preseason a year ago to make a statement about social inequality and police treatment of blacks in the United States.
A handful of players had carried on what Kaepernick started; a half-dozen engaged in some form of protest last week.
“It certainly is our hope that people stand during the national anthem, Boston Bruins Jerseys but we also respect their right to make a personal statement or expression of their personal beliefs,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said in a Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys conference call with reporters on Monday.
“In the first couple weeks of this year, it was a handful of people expressing themselves. We defended their right to do that,” Lockhart said. “There were a whole lot of people this weekend doing that, and the only thing that has changed were some comments from someone who lives in Washington.”
As for what happens now, Miami Dolphins guard Jermon Bushrod hoped the discussion and attention generated by the past few days can lead to some good.
“You can’t do something and have no action behind it. Now we have to figure out what’s the next step,” said Bushrod, who stood arm-in-arm with teammates for the anthem before Miami’s loss to the New York Jets.
“The tone and the delivery of everything from the President was kind of divisive. It angered a lot of people,” Bushrod said. “We’re just trying to bring awareness to something that needs to be cleared up. Nobody is trying to disrespect the flag or the military. It’s a tough situation where we feel we needed to come together.”
Roethlisberger’s Steelers was one of three teams that did not appear on the field for the national Cleveland Cavaliers Jerseys anthem at all Sunday — the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans were the others — and Lockhart said no players would be punished for that.
He also said the league will continue to have the anthem played before every game.
“If the President wants to engage in something positive, productive and constructive,” Lockhart said, “he knows our number.”
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