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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.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Iron Mountain. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Iron Mountain is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.
Master Sgt. Larry Hawks, a retired engineer sergeant who served with 3rd Special Forces Group, is being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Friday for "valorous actions" in Afghanistan in 2005.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.
A relative of the man who opened fire outside downtown Dallas' federal building this week warned the FBI in 2016 that he shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun because he was depressed and suicidal, his mother said Thursday.
Brian Clyde's half-brother called the FBI about his concerns, their mother Nubia Brede Solis said. Clyde was in the Army at the time.
On Monday, Clyde opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building. He was fatally shot by federal law enforcement. No one else was seriously injured. His family believes Clyde wanted to be killed.