NFL players hit back over anthem policy — get ready for another political football season

In May, NFL team owners agreed on a new policy to fine teams next season if their players do not stand during the national anthem. The move took many by surprise and was seen as a victory for President Trump, who had spent more than a year publicly criticizing NFL players for kneeling, and the league for allowing them to kneel.

Now the NFL Players Association has filed an official grievance against the policy.

On Tuesday, the NFLPA filed a non-injury grievance on behalf of all players, and said in a statement, “This new policy, imposed by the NFL’s governing body without consultation with the NFLPA, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.” (Read more)

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LeBron: Trump is using sports to divide us – CNN

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(CNN)LeBron James thinks the President is using athletics, and athletes, to split up the country. And he’s rejecting the premise like an opponent’s ill-advised layup.

“What I’ve noticed over the past few months,” James shared with CNN’s Don Lemon during a sit-down interview on Monday. “(Is) he’s kinda used sports to kinda divide us, and that’s something that I can’t relate to.”

Referencing Colin Kaepernick, whose kneeling protests during the pre-game national anthem launched an NFL movement, and more recently, Stephen Curry, who honored his promise of skipping a visit to Donald Trump’s White House, James bemoaned a myriad of instances in which the President has twisted peaceful displays of dissent into an indictment of a decaying American value system. (Read more)

NY Giants co-owner on anthem protests: Trump ‘has no understanding of why they take a knee’–AOL

New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch will not punish his players for any anthem displays of protest and hopes that President Donald Trump will focus on other issues, he told The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday.

“Hopefully he’ll have much more going on that he’s going have to deal with and should deal with and must deal with than worrying about what NFL players do,” Tisch told The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday night at the premiere of The Equalizer 2. “He has no understanding of why they take a knee or why they’re protesting. When the new season starts, I hope his priorities are not criticizing the NFL and telling owners what to do and what not to do.”

His comments come during a week when issues surrounding the anthem have resurfaced in part due to a joint statement released by the NFL and NFPA Thursday. That statement included that there will be no new rules issued relating to the national anthem, and that none will be enforced over the “next several weeks” while they continue to have “confidential discussions.” (Read more)

Trump demands Roger Goodell ‘make a stand’ on players kneeling for anthem – The Hill

President Trump took aim at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday in a tweet, calling upon the football executive to further punish players who protest by kneeling during the national anthem.

The president wrote Friday that Goodell, noting his $40 million a year salary, must “make a stand” against mostly African-American NFL players who have protested police brutality and racism by taking a knee during the National Anthem before games.

“The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!” Trump wrote. (Read more)

KING: Why I’ll never stand again for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’

The Watch Dog response: So glad I can listen, read and comprehend for myself.

Now that I have learned the truth about our national anthem and its author, I’ll never stand up for it again.

First off, the song, which was originally written as a poem, didn’t become our national anthem until 1931 — which was 117 years after Key wrote it. Most of us have no true idea what in the hell we’ve been hearing or singing all these years, but as it turns out, Key’s full poem actually has a third stanza which few of us have ever heard. In it, he openly celebrates the murder of slaves. Yes, really.

It goes like this: (Read more)