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Sports Can the NFL silence Trump and prevail in national anthem controversy?

16:03  02 august  2018
16:03  02 august  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

The Latest: Trump says NFL protesters should be suspended

  The Latest: Trump says NFL protesters should be suspended President Donald Trump is once again inserting himself into the culture war over protests by NFL athletes during the national anthem. Trump tweeted on Friday that he "can't believe" the debate has reignited after The Associated Press reported on the Miami Dolphins formally telling players they could be punished for protesting on the field. The NFL and NFL Players Association said in a joint statement Thursday night they were halting enforcement of all anthem rules while they work out a solution.

The national anthem controversy comes down to three factions: players, owners such as Jerry Jones and President Trump (Photo: Photo illustration by The NFL and NFL Players Association are talking, but there were stumbles along the way. The NFL announced in May that teams would be fined if

Since August 2016, some U.S. athletes have silently protested against "systematic oppression", "equality and social injustice", "racism and injustice in our criminal system"

The Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens will play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Thursday in Canton, Ohio. It’s the NFL’s first exhibition – and first national anthem – of the 2018 season. And it marks the start of a third year of bombs bursting in air in a three-way dispute among NFL owners and players and President Donald Trump.

Days before the Bears and Ravens last met, in Baltimore in mid-October, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent the league’s 32 teams a memo. “We need to move past this controversy,” he wrote, “and we want to do that together with our players.” Yet here we are, almost 10 months later, little closer to closure.

Trump applauds Dallas Cowboys owner's anthem stance

  Trump applauds Dallas Cowboys owner's anthem stance President Donald Trump congratulated Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys football team, for saying his players will be required to stand for the playing of the national anthem. Trump tweeted Friday: "Way to go Jerry. This is what the league should do!" Jones was the first owner to publicly say that his players would not be allowed to stay off the field during the anthem. Jones said the team's policy is "you stand at the anthem, toe on the line." However, Jones also said he understood the point of view of players who say they aren't protesting the flag or the military.

Journalist Nicholas Ballasy interviews comedian Dave Chappelle in Washington, D.C. Chappelle was in town for a ceremony at the Duke Ellington School of the

The NFL has been the loser so far, providing fodder for President Trump and alienating some players.

The NFL and NFL Players Association are talking,  but there were stumbles along the way. The NFL announced in May that teams would be fined if players didn’t stand for the anthem, though players could choose to stay in the locker room as it played. The NFLPA filed a grievance about that in July. The NFL put the policy on hold while it talks some more.

More: Richard Sherman sounds off on Jerry Jones, national anthem policy, comeback with 49ers

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All this comes two years since Colin Kaepernick declined to stand for the anthem before a San Francisco 49ers preseason game. He called it a protest against institutionalized racial oppression. The NFL has mostly mismanaged the controversy since.

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A defiant President Trump said Sunday afternoon that the outrage over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem "has nothing to do with race," but

It’s the NFL ’s first exhibition – and first nationwide anthem – of the 2018 season. And it marks the beginning of a 3rd yr of bombs bursting in air in a three-way dispute amongst NFL house owners and gamers and President Donald Trump . Days earlier than the Bears and Ravens final met, in Baltimore

“If the NFL’s answer is ‘We’re simply going to stop them from doing it,’ good luck,” crisis communication executive Dan McGinn says. “It’s not going to work. … That may feel good short-term. It’s a deadly long-term strategy. You cannot be a white-owned business telling African-American employees they cannot express their views.”

USA TODAY Sports spoke about the anthem controversy with McGinn, founder and CEO of McGinn and Company, a communication consulting practice; Frank Luntz, political consultant and pollster and founder and CEO of Luntz Global, a communication strategy firm; and Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia Eagles safety and co-founder of the Players Coalition, a charity and advocacy organization. (USA TODAY Sports spoke with McGinn and Luntz last week and with Jenkins in June.)

“You’re left with owners sniping at each other, players and owners” sniping, McGinn says. “The president is using them for political fodder. Come on! You’re running a business here, (and) you’re hardening feelings on both ends of the spectrum.”

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A defiant President Trump said Sunday afternoon that the outrage over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem "has nothing to do with race," but

The president ripped into NFL players who have kneeled for the national anthem during a speech in Alabama on Friday night.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones proclaimed his players would be required to stand, “toe on the line,” regardless of NFL policy. Trump, who lambastes the league regularly, tweeted his approval of that. Then news media reports surfaced that the NFL ordered Jones not to talk about it anymore.

Luntz figures that’s the NFL’s best strategy: Say nothing.

“The president has the largest bully pulpit on the face of the Earth,” he says. “The NFL may be the most popular sport, but the president’s bully pulpit is even louder. And the problem is it is very hard to explain to someone that silence is the best strategy.”

Reticence is not what Jones is known for.

“I understand that,” Luntz says. “These are two very powerful people. But the president controls the agenda, and this president is going to make his opinions known.”

Trump has been making them known since he said of Kaepernick: “Maybe he should find a country that works better for him.” That was August 2016. Trump has bludgeoned the NFL relentlessly since.

“It galvanizes his base,” Luntz says. “It plays well where he plays well.”

Hall of Famer Jim Brown says he'd never kneel during anthem

  Hall of Famer Jim Brown says he'd never kneel during anthem Hall of Famer Jim Brown says he'd never kneel during anthemHowever, the Hall of Fame running back would never kneel during the national anthem.

The NFL Network's NFL GameDay Morning came right out the gate Sunday morning to address Donald Trump 's various tweets over the weekend that called for the league to fire players who take a knee during the national anthem . The show's host, Rich Eisen, ended the panel discussion by speaking

President Donald Trump praised NFL team owners for doing the "right thing" in requiring NFL players to stand during the National Anthem this season, and suggested those who don't stand maybe "shouldn't be in the country.".

And where it doesn’t play well? “That’s not Trump’s America.”

Look to the NBA

Most of the NFL owners are white men with an average age just shy of 70. McGinn suggests they should look to the NBA for answers – and not because the NBA has a rule that players must stand for the anthem.

“It’s because of all the other things they do that they can have that,” he says. “It’s a league where the players have a tremendous social media presence where they can express their views. … In the NBA, they have to stand, but nobody feels they’re muzzled, that they’re disrespected. They just don’t feel that way. But in the NFL, they do.”

McGinn doesn’t pretend to have a solution.

“I’ve worked in all kinds of very controversial issues where there is no magical answer,” he says. “But there is a hell of a lot smarter answers than the one they’ve come up with now. They know it. They don’t like it. But I think they should have put more effort into it. They should have been more creative."

Luntz says he is friends with a number of NFL owners and has given some anthem advice. What did he say? “You know I can’t answer that,” he says, offering only that all stakeholders need to participate in crafting a policy.

“They really don’t know what to do, and you can see it,” McGinn says. “They zig and zag. It’s not working for them. And they feel enormous pressure from the president. They feel enormous pressure from the players, all conflicting pressures. The owners are torn. They have public positions and private positions.”

Rodgers: NFL needs to learn to ignore Trump's jabs

  Rodgers: NFL needs to learn to ignore Trump's jabs Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has no problem wading into the political realm, at least when it comes to President Donald Trump's involvement in the NFL's national anthem controversy. Trump has been vocal about his disdain for any protests during the national anthem, and his criticism of players and the league led to a debate over a new anthem policy. The president's opinions on league matters get the attention of players, team owners, and league executives - and that's part of the problem, according to Rodgers."I think that the more that we give credence to stuff like that, the more it's gonna live on," Rodgers told NFL.com's Michael Silver.

Terry Bradshaw says Donald Trump should stick to North Korea and healthcare. Terry Bradshaw came out firing against Donald Trump on FOX NFL Sunday. At the opening of the pregame show, Bradshaw said he didn't condone the anthem protests, but explained forceful that players have the

Trump tweeted about the NFL and national anthem 37 times in a month. NFL -related tweets account for 12% of Trump 's timeline over the past 30 days. He has attacked the NFL for a number of perceived failings, including a lack of respect for the American flag and the league 's reluctance to

Put the anthem issue aside, McGinn says, and the NFL has many other troubles: “Their audience is significantly white, it is significantly older, and it is significantly wedded to TV. That’s not a good formula.”

Then there is the specter of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE. The anthem  dispute is less an existential threat, “but it’s a window into the mentality and a window into the process of the NFL,” McGinn says, “and it doesn’t leave you encouraged.”

Luntz says the anthem debate will be more prominent in the preseason than in the regular season. “At some point, it just burns itself out,” he says. “It will be a bigger issue Week 1 than Week 16.”

McGinn offers a different view: “It’ll be with them probably throughout the Trump presidency.”

Luntz says he attends an NFL game somewhere in the country just about every week of the season. “I love it because politics has no place in it," he says. "Please, let’s keep politics out of football. Just give us one day. We give the Lord one day a week. Let’s give football one day a week.”

Never mind that the Lord and football must share their Sundays.

'We wanted to spark that dialogue'

Jenkins visited the Maya Angelou Public Charter School, which enrolls students who have had trauma in their lives, in Washington in June. He had scheduled it as a place he’d rather be than the Trump White House, where the team was scheduled to appear with the president after winning the Super Bowl. The White House invitation was ultimately rescinded.

“Players have been doing (good works) for a long time, which is the main reason for the protests,” Jenkins says. “It wasn’t like Colin Kaepernick knelt and the players started opening their 501(c)(3)s.

Donald Trump to NFL players: ‘Find another way to protest’

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Mr Trump charges that kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to American servicemen and women, as do many of his supporters. The White House has repeatedly attempted to rebrand the protest as a protest of the American flag instead of against police brutality and racism in the US.

LAST season, NFL players across America knelt during the country's national anthem in a display of protest and defiance. The demonstrations - which took place across the US and in London - were repeatedly criticised by US President Donald Trump .

"But now there’s this huge wave and movement. There’s always going to be people who disagree and naysayers, but even the fact that they have to respond to our stance means they’re listening as well. We wanted to spark that dialogue.”

Jenkins is insulted by the notion that raising questions of racial injustice is somehow an intrusion on a football game.

“The national anthem lasts for, what, two minutes?” he says. “There’s a three-hour game that still goes on afterward. They can still focus on football. They don’t take that same stance when we do an entire month around breast cancer. When there was a campaign against domestic violence, nobody wrote letters about how we don’t do this stuff on Sunday.

“It’s only when we start talking about black issues – things that have to do with race, all these issues that we as a country like to run from. That’s when all of a sudden they say, ‘We want to concentrate on football on Sunday, and we don’t want to deal with anything else.’ If you don’t want to deal with this on Sunday, how about Monday through Saturday?”

The goal, Jenkins says, is to shine a light on issues players care about and to get something done about them.

“We can create a country that can stand behind the national anthem and what it stands for, stand behind the flag when we feel like we have justice and equality," he says. "And then we can all go back to enjoying our Sundays.”

Donald Trump Lies in Tweets Bashing Players for Protesting During National Anthem .
Donald Trump Lies in Tweets Bashing Players for Protesting During National AnthemTrump claimed that "most of them are unable to define" what it is that they are protesting against, but that is incorrect. Since former quarterback Colin Kaepernick first started the protest in 2016, he made it very clear that he was protesting against racial injustice, systematic inequality, police brutality and general racial oppression in the United States.

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