The National Football Season has started in the US and as expected, players and teams are engaged in various forms of protests for racial justice and against systemic police brutality.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic only one team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, admitted fans on Sunday. The Jaguars stayed in the locker room for the anthems while their opponents, the Indianapolis Colts, stood on the goalline. The Colts head coach, Frank Reich, was the only member of the team to kneel. Indianapolis Star reporter Joel Erickson estimated half the crowd stood for Lift Every Voice and Sing.
The Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets also opted to stay in the locker room for the anthem during Sunday’s early kick-offs.
Elsewhere, Washington players decided to kneel for the anthem, while their opponents, the Eagles, left the field.
Colin Kaepernick, who started the kneeling protest and has since then not found a team that is willing to hire him, says that as long as Eric Reid is not offered a position on an NFL team, the NFL’s statements about having changed ring hollow.
Reid was the first player to join Kaepernick in his protests against anti-Black racism. The two were teammates on the San Francisco 49ers, and both men struggled to find work in the league after they left the team. Kaepernick has not played in the NFL at all since his departure from the 49ers, while Reid had to wait some times before being picked up by the Carolina Panthers. He was a strong defensive force for the team over the last two seasons, but has not been signed since leaving them earlier this year, a suspicious turn of events given he is only 28 and still in his prime playing years.
Because the players are going against his wishes, Trump and his son have now decided to bad-mouth football.
The Trump family attacks on the American institution that is football continued Sunday.
Nearly a week after Donald Trump’s son, Eric, tweeted that “Football is officially dead,” and while the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams were playing on “Sunday Night Football,” the president went after the sport.
“Football’s boring as hell. It’s just not the same, right?” Trump said at a campaign rally in Henderson, Nevada, near Las Vegas, the new home city of one of the NFL’s most iconic franchises, the Raiders.
Why they think the pre-game rituals have any effect on the actual game is a mystery.