The liberal media took to Twitter on Wednesday to express outrage that the National Football League has adopted a new policy that would punish a club if its players do not “stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”
The NFL’s new policy comes after nearly two years of controversy after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem as part of a protest against police brutality. The kneeling triggered fierce debates across the country and criticism from President Trump. On Wednesday, the league announced new guidelines that require players who are on the field during the anthem to stand, but allows individuals who decide to skip the “Star-Spangled Banner” to remain in the locker room.
CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill urged all players to remain in the locker room. The CNN star added, “The worst part is that we’ve just accepted the idea that the national anthem has to be sung before each game as an article of faith.”
NBC News star Chuck Todd said the policy feels like a “band-aid that won’t stick.”
“There’s just something that feels un-American about forcing folks to abide what is, well, the league’s own politics,” Todd wrote.
Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina wrote, “I have a stupid question: If the NFL and its racist owners are going to penalize a team 15 yards if a player kneels during the anthem, what happens if players from both teams kneel?”
ESPN’s Jemel Hill, who famously called President Trump a white supremacist last year, declared that the NFL is “constantly striving to come up with rules stupider than some of their previous rules.” She also tweeted a meme of a woman squinting, looking off in the distance captioned, “Me, trying to find any NFL owners with common sense.”
Newsday reporter Calvin Watkins proclaimed, “In a dream world all the players should come out for the anthem and take a knee or raise a fist for Week 1. You can’t take away a person’s right to protest.”
The Weekly List author Amy Siskind stated that the ruling is “not normal.”
“Pay attention to rights and protections disappearing each week. This is an un-American act taken to placate an authoritarian leader,” Siskind wrote.
Radley Balko of the Washington Post chimed in, “So the NFL pans to defend America by imposing fines for protesting excessive and abusive acts by government. You know, just like the Founding Fathers would have done.”
Balko’s Washington Post colleague Max J. Rosenthal thinks Americans should skip the national anthem altogether. “Just a reminder that if we stopped playing the anthem before sporting events, we wouldn't ever have to argue about this again,” he wrote.”
Julie Dicaro, a Chicago-based sports talk radio personality, sarcastically wrote, “By all means, let's enshrine compliance with ceremonial displays of the flag while completely ignoring what the flag stands for, @NFL.” She sent another tweet asking why people even watch the NFL anymore.
Sopan Deb of The New York Times wrote, “The NFL would like their players to be Milford men.”
Think Progress editor and founder Judd Legum asked, “What about showing respect for the flag by not creating a policy that punishes people for peacefully protesting racism?”
The Left founder Adam Best claimed that the NFL “continues to be on the wrong side of history,” while The Daily Beast’s Justin Miller said, “Nothing says ‘land of the free’ like compulsory patriotism.”
SportsNet New York anchor Taylor Rooks feels the new policy “implies that those that kneeled weren't respecting the flag” in the first place. “Furthering the false idea that the protests were about the flag. The protests are about injustice,” she added.
Since the anthem protesting began, the NFL has donated nearly $100 million to social justice causes supported by some players, despite critics' claims that it was meant purely to appease activist athletes.