NFLPA's Smith: 'No player is disrespecting our country or our flag'




  • In US
  • 2017-10-09 18:09:32Z
  • By Reuters

(The Sports Xchange) - NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith released a statement Monday regarding players protesting during the national anthem, saying "no player is disrespecting our country or our flag."

Smith's statement comes following Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' comments on Sunday that his players must stand for the anthem or else they would not play.

In addition, Vice President Mike Pence left Sunday's game in Indianapolis when the visiting San Francisco 49ers knelt during the national anthem before facing the Colts.

"Last week both the Commissioner and the Chair of the NFL Management Council John Mara were clear when they assured our union leaders, in the presence of other owners, that they would respect the Constitutional rights of our members without retribution," Smith said in a statement. "I look forward to the day when everyone in Management can unite and truly embrace and article what that Flag stands for: 'Liberty and Justice for All' instead of some of them just talking about standing. We look forward to continuing our talks with them on this very issue.

"No player is disrespecting our Country or our Flag. As thousands have shown in the past, it takes bravery and courage to speak and confront these issues as our players have, especially when it is unpopular with some. There is room for Management to do the same and maybe then players do not have to risk the taunts and threats alone. This is their opportunity to lead as well and will be a true test of the motto that 'Football is Family.'"

Jones' comments occurred in response to Pence abruptly leaving Sunday's game after more than 20 49ers knelt during the national anthem.

"Understand? We will not ... if we are disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period," Jones said after the Cowboys' 35-31 home loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Before the Cowboys' game at Arizona on Sept. 25, Jones and members of his family joined the players, coaches and staff on the field prior to the anthem. They kneeled and locked arms. When the anthem was performed, they stood arm-in-arm with the players.

The gesture was in response to President Donald Trump's comments that NFL owners should fire players who disrespect the flag by not standing during the national anthem.

Cowboys defensive ends Damontre Moore and David Irving raised their fists at the end of the anthem before the game against the Packers, according to the Dallas Morning News. Jones said he was unaware of their actions.

Pence, a former governor of Indiana, was on hand to celebrate former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning's induction into the franchise's Ring of Honor.

No Colts players knelt during the anthem prior to the game but the 49ers had more than 20 players kneeling with their hands over their hearts for the second straight week.

"I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem," Pence tweeted about leaving the game:

About an hour later, Trump tweeted that Pence was acting in response to his instructions.

"I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen," Trump tweeted.

NBC News reported Sunday that reporters were told before the game there could be "an early departure" by Pence.

Trump followed up Monday morning with another tweet: "The trip by @VP Pence was long planned. He is receiving great praise for leaving game after the players showed such disrespect for country!"

Trump's position unified more NFL players to protest racial injustice before or during the anthem. He said during a political rally in Huntsville, Ala., on Sept. 22 that NFL owners should fire the players who knelt during the anthem.

"We're proud of our country. We respect our flag," Trump said to loud applause at the campaign event. "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired! He's fired!'"

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew national attention last season when he knelt during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice. A number of players followed Kaepernick's lead by taking a knee during the anthem last year.

NFL players who have demonstrated during the national anthem have said they are protesting police brutality and racism, but not the flag or the anthem itself.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll)

COMMENTS

More Related News

U.S. not granting loan relief to defrauded students: inspector general
U.S. not granting loan relief to defrauded students: inspector general
  • US
  • 2017-12-11 22:47:56Z

The U.S. Education Department under President Donald Trump and Secretary Betsy DeVos has stopped cancelling the student-loan debt of people defrauded by failed for-profit schools and those borrowers face mounting interest and other burdens, its inspector general said on Monday. DeVos is seeking to redo the process for cancelling the debts of people who attended Corinthian Colleges, which collapsed in 2015 amid government investigations into its post-graduation rates, and other failed schools. In the final days of his administration, President Barack Obama approved rules speeding up the debt cancellations.

White House Slamming Media
White House Slamming Media's Mistakes Is Height Of Hypocrisy

WASHINGTON ― White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lashed out at reporters on Monday in response to multiple high-profile corrections to news stories this month, falsely claiming that journalistic outlets do not regularly take responsibility for mistakes and intentionally publish inaccurate information.

Cory Booker Calls On Donald Trump To Resign Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Cory Booker Calls On Donald Trump To Resign Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is calling on President Donald Trump to resign over the more than a dozen sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Trump pays tribute to civil rights heroes amid protests
Trump pays tribute to civil rights heroes amid protests

President Donald Trump paid tribute Saturday to the leaders and foot soldiers of the civil rights movement whose sacrifices help make the United States a fairer and more just country, though protests surrounding ...

Trump slams
Trump slams 'vicious' media after erroneous reports on WikiLeaks, Russia

Donald Trump on Saturday renewed his onslaught against major US news networks, accusing them of launching a "vicious" assault on his presidency as he seized on a reporting error by CNN. Trump sounded the same anti-media narrative in a speech Friday in Florida when, pointing to a reporting error by ABC, he said, "Did you see all the corrections the media's been making? The US president regularly rails against top news outlets, both broadcast networks and newspapers including the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.