Most NFL fans hate the ever-growing national anthem protests.
A poll showed 26% of fans stopped watching the NFL last year as a result.
Despite this fact, many players continue to disrespect the anthem and the fans who came to take their minds off politics…except for players on this team.
The Cincinnati Bengals chose to leave politics out of football and simply play the game, which is all the fans want.
The Bengals entered Week 3 of the NFL season, having not scored an offensive touchdown. However, amidst a sea of protest across the league on Sunday, the Bengals scored in another way, a way that will leave a lot of their fans happy.
They scored by saying that sports and politics don’t mix.
The Bengals, unlike much of the league, did not issue a statement about President trump’s comments in Alabama, prior to their game on Sunday. However, they did issue one later.
According to Pro Football Talk, the statement read: “Football and politics don’t mix easily. Fans come to NFL games to watch great competition on the playing field and that’s where our focus should be.”
While all Bengals players stood with interlocked arms during the playing of the anthem, as a symbol of unity, no one knelt or raised a fist:
Several #Bengals appear to have their arms locked for the anthem. @WCPO
The Packers on the other hand, Cincinnati’s opponent on Sunday, had three players sit on the bench for the anthem. Martellus Bennett, brother to fellow protester Michael Bennett, Lance Kendricks, and Kevin King, all sat.
The Bengals statement is stunning in its simplicity, directness, and brilliance. It’s also the least reported statement from any team, as the sports media chooses to highlight, almost exclusively, only those statements which celebrate the anthem protests.
Trump’s stance on shows of solidarity is pretty clear.
Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!
There’s a time and a place for political protest, and it’s not at work against the customer’s wishes.
Fans spend valuable time and money to attend NFL games in order to escape from politics and distract themselves for a few hours.
They don’t want to be lectured on issues that they’re already aware of, or perhaps don’t agree on.
Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but forcing politics onto customers is unprofessional.
Good on the Bengals for not stumbling into that pitfall.