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Posts tagged with "national anthem"
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The Evanston Township High School girls varsity and junior varsity volleyball teams kneeled during the national anthem before their game on Tuesday, Sept. 26, in Evanston.
 (Photo courtesy of Ben Silverman)

The decision of an Evanston High School girls volleyball team to “take a knee” during the national anthem before their match this week sparked conversation on the topic in both Evanston and in nearby New Trier High School, with members of both schools’ varsity football teams following suit on Thursday.

A senior on the girls volleyball team said the decision was made without the knowledge of parents or coaches and was done to bring attention to “those who face injustice in America.”

More than a dozen members of the Evanston football team, the Evanston cheerleaders and marching band, as well as one New Trier football player, also chose to kneel during the anthem before their game Thursday. The kneeling protests were brought to prominence months ago by then-San Francisco 49ersquarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was trying to raise awareness of social injustice and racism. The “take a knee” movement shot to the forefront of national debate recently, after President Donald Trump criticized NFL players participating in the protest, using a curse word to refer to them and saying they should be fired.

 

 

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Falcons owner Arthur Blank discussing his plans before the Lions’ game on Sunday. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com) 

Falcons owner Arthur Blank stood next to head coach Dan Quinn on the field during the National Anthem before Sunday’s game with the Detroit Lions.

Defensive tackles Grady Jarrett and Dontari Poe elected to kneel while holding hands with defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel (standing to the right of Jarrett) and Adrian Clayborn (standing to left of Poe).

Eight members of the Detroit Lions elected to kneel also.

“It’s just a physical and symbolic representation of what I said yesterday,” Blank said before the game about standing with his team.

Blank was fine with whatever the players elected to do.

”What they do is their choice,” Blank said before the game. “I’m supportive of our players. I’m certainly supportive of their rights to express their freedom of speech. I don’t think…the people that fought for this country going back several hundred years primarily weren’t fighting for geography. They were fighting for way of life, and part of that is reflected in the freedom of speech and the ability to speak up and speak out on issues.

Blank was not pleased with the comments of President Donald Trump about players who have elected to kneel during the National Anthem.

“It’s unfortunate that the president chose to go in that direction and speak out the way he has,” Blank said. “Love conquers and that kind of divisiveness and calling out accomplishes nothing, satisfies nothing.”

Blank was not one of the seven NFL owners who dontated $1 million to Trump’s campaign. Blank was a strong supporter of  President Barack Obama.

Players around the league have been protesting social and racial injustice in the country.

“The issues that they point to are legitimate issues,” Blank said. “They need to be talked about it. We need to make progress as a country moving forward with them. We don’t do it by creating walls. We don’t build walls. That doesn’t create better listening or better responses or connections.”

Blank noted that the Falcons are one of the busiest teams when it comes to doing community service.

“I think our players love this country,” Blank said. “They not only play this game, but they work their fannies off physically and financially giving back in a variety of ways to our communities throughout the national football league. We are the first to step up and do very significant things. They do it day in and day out. I see it every day with our players.”

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When I was a young man, sick and Monday Night Football was in its infancy my father and I would gather around the television and we would always have a good time. The reason is as everyone knows, for sale long before the days of subscription services where you could pay to watch every out of market game that there was, you had maybe your locally broadcast game and once a year you might see a game between two teams you don’t normally get to see. This is still sort of the case even with the NFL being on several broadcast networks.

This whole thing with Colin Kapernick has set off a chain reaction of absolute disrespect and idiocy. One thing I absolutely don’t understand is how a team that is based in the cradle of democracy can do something like what they are deciding to do. If this happens to be the case and this actually happens, you’re not going to be hearing the roar of the crowd. You’re gonna be hearing millions of televisions shutting off.

 

 

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