Side­line ‘sol­i­dar­ity’ to con­tinue

Boston Herald - - NEWS - By BRIAN DOWL­ING — brian.dowl­ing@boston­her­ald.com

The con­tro­ver­sial NFL na­tional an­them protests are set to con­tinue to­mor­row when the New Or­leans Saints and Mi­ami Dol­phins face off in Lon­don.

Aim­ing to re­spect all sides, Saints quar­ter­back Drew Brees said his team would kneel to­gether and then stand for the an­them ahead of Sun­day’s game.

“As a way to show re­spect to all, our #Saints team will kneel in sol­i­dar­ity prior to the na­tional an­them & stand to­gether dur­ing the an­them,” Brees wrote in a tweet posted yes­ter­day.

The player protests of po­lice vi­o­lence against peo­ple of color have di­vided the pub­lic over whether the pregame pa­tri­otic cer­e­mony is the right mo­ment to make a state­ment. But a new poll shows the pub­lic isn’t back­ing Pres­i­dent Trump’s fa­vored rem­edy for the protest­ing play­ers.

Sixty-one per­cent of peo­ple asked by CNBC said they op­posed the idea Trump pro­posed last week that would have NFL own­ers fire or sus­pend play­ers who kneel dur­ing the na­tional an­them. Twenty-seven per­cent of those polled sup­ported Trump’s idea of fir­ing or sus­pend­ing those who protest dur­ing the an­them.

Prior to this week’s game be­tween the Green Bay Pack­ers and the Chicago Bears, the play­ers, coaches and staffers of both teams locked arms on the side­lines in a show of unity while “The Star-Span­gled Ban­ner” played. Both teams en­cour­aged fans to fol­low suit.

The protest led by pro­fes­sional play­ers spread this week to a high school foot­ball game in Illi­nois Thurs­day be­tween Evanston and New Trier, ac­cord­ing to the Chicago Tri­bune, which re­ported 18 Evanston play­ers took a knee and one sat, while only one of the New Trier play­ers knelt.

In Michi­gan, an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion will de­ter­mine whether the head of the Michi­gan State Po­lice broke the agency’s so­cial me­dia pol­icy and should be dis­ci­plined for shar­ing a Face­book post that called protest­ing NFL play­ers “anti-Amer­i­can de­gen­er­ates.” Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue has apol­o­gized, and Repub­li­can Gov. Rick Sny­der has said he will not fire her de­spite calls for her ouster from Demo­cratic law­mak­ers, a gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date, civil rights groups and other or­ga­ni­za­tions.

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