You'll Love the Reason So Many American Football Players Are Kneeling During the National Anthem
Sunday night football in America is basically a national pastime, but drama on the field escalated from team-on-team rivalry to a display of the country's current political climate this weekend.
The trouble began when President Trump Tweeted that all players should stand during the singing of the national anthem out of respect to the country and the flag. Some players had knelt on one knee during the song to protest police brutality.
"If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country," Trump tweeted at 6:44 a.m. on Friday, "you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!"
He called for players to be fired or suspended for refusing to stand.
As the weekend continued, more and more players, coaches, and team owners knelt or even refused to come out of the locker room as the anthem played before kickoff.
Robert Kraft, who owns the New England Patriots and who donated $1 million to Trump's campaign even spoke out in support of the players, issuing a statement on Sunday that said he was "deeply disappointed by the tone" of Trump's comments.
"I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities," Kraft said. "Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports and, unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful."
Kraft wasn't the only one speaking out-- see how people celebrated the courage of the athletes on Twitter right here.