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By Marc Morial

President and CEO

National Urban League


Most Sundays in September, much of the nation’s attention is riveted on professional football. This past week has been referred to as “Choose Your Side Sunday.”

We saw a variety of President Trump’s vulgar disparagement of athletes who kneel to protest in justice – calling them S.O.B.s and demanding they be fired.

Many more athletes chose to follow the lead of Colin Kaepernick and “take a knee.” Other players and staff chose to link arms in a gesture of solidarity against attempts to divide them along racial lines, or declined to take the field during the anthem.

Not everyone agrees that kneeling – a gesture specifically chosen, rather than sitting, as a gesture of respect to the military – is an appropriate form of protest. But most of the NFL seemed to agree that President’s remarks were inappropriate, and that it is not his place to make demands of the owners. His remarks sparked a national conversation about racial injustice that we hope continues and leads to a serious search for solutions

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1 Comment

  1. It is their constitutional right to sing or not sing the Star Spangled Banner written by a slave owner and master about freedom for white men only! In Texas vs Johnson the US Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that the white man who burned the US flag was within in constitutional rights. We should sing the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, written by Johnson in celebration of freedom from slavery.

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