The anti-American anthem protests have been the most divisive issue in sports.
The majority of the country believes the widespread kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner is unpatriotic, but the players have pushed back on that narrative.
Now one player just dropped a hint that not all of the players are unified on the issue of protesting the national anthem.
Ever since free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt for the anthem throughout the 2016 season, the NFL has been mired in a controversy that has spiraled out of control.
Millions of Americans were rightfully upset by the blatant disrespect for the country and showed their anger by canceling season tickets and turning the channel.
Even though Kaepernick was not on a roster in 2017, many lemmings around the league followed him off the cliff and copied his protest.
As a result, the NFL witnessed its first two-year drop in viewership in ages and suffered a loss in advertising revenue.
Kaepernick got to play the part of civil rights hero, receiving plaudits from the mainstream media and various left-wing activist organizations, but he left a wake of destruction behind him.
The NFL’s brand suffered, and league Commissioner Roger Goodell and the owners scrambled to find a solution to the festering problem.
After two full years of inaction, Goodell unveiled a new policy that would require players to stand for the anthem, or remain in the locker room.
If players still chose to protest the anthem, their team would be subject to a fine, and the individual team could decide on how — or if — they wanted to discipline the offending players.
The commissioner’s edict somewhat satisfied the fans disturbed by the anti-American protests, but infuriated the players; their association filed a grievance against the league.
There were even grumblings that many players were planning some form of protest to defy the NFL and Donald Trump.
A powder keg was ignited recently when it leaked that the Miami Dolphins were contemplating heavy fines and suspensions for any players that protested the anthem.
Goodell put a moratorium on his new policy in order to address the anthem issue before the pre-season starts.
This time the league will be in negotiations with the players to hammer out a new policy, but even though the players like to act as if they’re a united front, some players are not on board with the protests.
Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander told the Washington Post:
“There are a lot of moving parts in this. Even on the players’ side, you have people that have different feelings about certain things…We need to go into this thing with an open mind, both sides, not so polarized. We need to have clear heads and open hearts when we’re talking about these issues.”
This is undoubtedly true. Fox Sports 1 host Jason Whitlock pointed out that there are 1,700 players in the league, but only a handful — less than 10% — are truly pushing for protests.
Free agents Adam “Pacman” Jones and Tamba Hali both said they didn’t agree with the protests. Jones, who has several military veterans in his family, said the players should find another way to express themselves.
Hali, who emigrated to the United States from Liberia at age 10, said he fully supported Trump’s stance on the anthem.
It’s amazing how an immigrant shows more gratitude for America than many of the players born here. Perhaps he understands the freedoms inherent in America that aren’t found in myriad countries around the world.
As the league and the players get together to create a new policy, hopefully, the silent majority within the player ranks will be heard and put a stop to the protest mania.