The NFL sure has had their share of controversy in the past few years. Whether they are dealing with domestic violence, concussions or kneeling during the anthem you can bet that each week during this NFL season people will be talking about non-football topics.
Before the official season ever started, Nike torched the world with their new ad campaign and sent people into a frenzy, tapping on Colin Kaepernick to star in their latest ad. While that was still hot in people’s minds, the first week of the NFL season came and went and only two players knelt during the National Anthem.
Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson of the Miami Dolphins took a knee and began the 2018 season with continuing their protest of police brutality in the United States.
The two also did this during a preseason game. Colin Kaepernick tweeted in support of the two afterwards saying, “My Brothers @kstills and @ithinkisee12 continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward!”
My Brothers @kstills and @ithinkisee12 continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward!
“Love is at the root of our resistance!”✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/2kSsX4s7EU
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 9, 2018
This all happens during turmoil within the NFL about this kneeling rule. Earlier in the year the team owners put a policy in place that would ban players from doing just this thing. The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against this rule and nothing has moved forward since this happened in July.
Stills and Wilson were the only ones to kneel but others participated in the protest as well. Marquise Goodwin of the 49ers (Kaepernick’s last team), Russell Okung of the LA Chargers both raised a fist during the anthem.
In other forms of protest, Duane Brown, Branden Jackson and Quinton Jefferson of the Seattle Seahawks stayed inside the locker room during the anthem.
Even before all this happened, of course Donald Trump weighed in on the subject.
Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
He must have still been thinking about the NFL for the next hour and how he wasn’t able to buy the Buffalo Bills back in the day because he complained about the ratings.
Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison. Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2018
He linked the anthem protests as the reason to why there was a decline in ratings. Other actual experts speculated that it was because the game opened with a weather delay, which makes a lot of sense.
Trump has repeatedly said that the protests are about race relations but how can he say whether or not that’s the fact when he isn’t the one protesting. Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles, who co-founded the Players Coalition, was on the field for the anthem, but before the game had tweeted about what the real problems they were fighting for were.
Today, football is back. But, on any given night, over 450,000 people sit in jail w/o being convicted of a crime. Many are there because they can’t purchase their freedom with cash bail.
— PlayersCoalition (@playercoalition) September 7, 2018
Trump hasn’t tweeted anything out since his Sunday morning NFL outburst, but as the season picks up don’t expect him to halt on this topic.