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NFL To Players: Stand For The National Anthem Or Get Off The Football Field
All professional football players must stand for the national anthem ahead of National Football League games to "show respect" for the American flag, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Wednesday.
Players and other NFL personnel who would prefer to remain seated or kneel during the anthem as part of ongoing protests against racial inequality and police brutality spearheaded by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 "may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field," until the anthem's conclusion, the NFL said.
"The 23 members of the [NFL] have affirmed their strong commitment to work alongside our players to strengthen our communities and advance social justice," Goodell said in a statement. "The unique platform that we have created is unprecedented in its scope, and will provide extraordinary resources in support of programs to promote positive social change in our communities."
It's several months since President Donald Trump put the NFL kneeling controversy in the national spotlight by pivoting from threatening North Korea to threatening pro athletes, so here's some of our essential items on the matter in case you need a refresher.
- What U.S. service members think of the whole thing: Opinions on the matter are not uniform. Here are two pro and con samples courtesy of Business Insider:
Pro, from former Army Green Beret Michael Sands, son of a World War II veteran and father of an Army officer who served in Afghanistan: “I can tell you, speaking for three generations of my family, it is PRECISELY for men like Kaepernick, and his right to peacefully protest injustice, that we were willing to serve ... Want to respect the American flag? Then respect the ideals for which it stands. Bullying language and calling peaceful protesters ‘sons of bitches’ who should be fired aren’t among them."Con, from Marine Corps infantry veteran Nick Stefanovic “For me it is offensive at the least and painful at the most to see someone disrespect the flag or anthem, as they have become linked to the sacrifices that I have seen made in their name. I am tired of this ‘bringing awareness’ crap. I think it does nothing but bring attention to the person trying to do it. It is a way is saying, ‘Hey look at me, I’m doing something good,’ without actually having to do something.”
- 'I would shut my mouth and just listen': When the initial controversy emerged back in 20167, Nate Boyer, the former U.S. Army Green Beret turned Seattle Seahawks snapper attempted to use his unique background as both a combat veteran and pro baller to thread the needle between two passionate views on the issue. His advice? “I would just listen. I would shut my mouth and just listen.”“What you are doing takes a lot of courage, and I’d be lying if I said I knew what it was like to walk around in your shoes,” Boyer wrote on Facebook in September 2016. “I’ve never had to deal with prejudice because of the color of my skin, and for me to say I can relate to what you’ve gone through is as ignorant as someone who’s never been in a combat zone telling me they understand what it’s like to go to war.”
- These debates are good for America: "For once in a loud, tumultuous, and at times scary American era, I see something that makes me hopeful we can still be whole in some meaningful way, even when we’re disagreeing vehemently about how we make our meanings," wrote T&P;'s Adam Weinstein last year. "Maybe I’m wrong; empathy is hard, among the hardest frontier journeys humans can still attempt. But I never knew an America that shied away from hard work."
- There are more important things to care about: Just take it from Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who delivered a perfect Mattisim when asked about the whole kerfuffle: “I’m the Secretary of Defense. We defend the country.”
Do you have thoughts on NFL's new policy change? Let us know in the comments.
U.S. special operations forces are currently field testing a lightweight combat armor designed to cover more of an operator's body than previous protective gear, an official told Task & Purpose.
The armor, called the Lightweight Polyethylene (PE) Armor for Extremity Protection, is one of a handful of subsystems to come out of U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) effort that media outlets dubbed the "Iron Man suit," Navy Lieutenant Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a SOCOM spokesman, told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
Military families are suing their private housing provider over 'rampant mold infestation' at Fort Meade
Ten military families are taking their privatized housing provider, Corvias, to court over "appalling housing conditions and cavalier treatment" at Fort Meade in Maryland, according to a new lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday by law firm Covington & Burling —which is handling the lawsuit pro bono, according to their press release — details "distressingly similar stories of poorly maintained infrastructure leading to serious problems, such as mold growing on walls, windows, and pipes," at the the installation.
The lawsuit was first reported by the Washington Post. The defendants identified include Corvias Management-Army LLC and Meade Communities, LLC, which is a part of Corvias.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers presented dueling narratives on Wednesday as a U.S. congressional impeachment inquiry that threatens Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency entered a crucial new phase with the first televised public hearing.
The drama unfolded in a hearing of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in which two career U.S. diplomats - William Taylor and George Kent - voiced alarm over the Republican president and those around him pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit Trump politically.
A system that intercepts enemy rockets and a brand-new munition? Tank you very much.