In a stunning development, nearly three dozen professional football players – and counting – have announced that they will kneel or show solidarity in some other way during the national anthem at this weekend’s 15 remaining NFL games.
Columnist and activist Sean King is tracking the protests on Twitter:
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35 new players will be demonstrating tomorrow. https://t.co/MdC7VIQ19q
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 23, 2017
The move comes as more and more professional athletes publicly respond to the “sons of bitches” attack President Trump’s leveled at flag protesting football players in a speech to an Alabama rally crowd Friday night.
These three dozen players are new protesters, and they’ll join the handful of activists who’ve been using the national anthem to protest President Trump’s botched response to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over the summer.
The hashtag #takeaknee is now trending on Twitter as the response to the President’s Friday attack grows.
“That’s a total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” Trump told the crowd at an Alabama rally for senate candidate Luther Strange. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired.’”
The President even encouraged fans to walk out of games if players protested. Now that he’s escalated the issue and elevated the players’ cause, we may get a chance to see if fans do in fact leave in solidarity with the President.
With the popularity of the NFL and the price of tickets among the highest in all of sports, Trump shouldn’t get his hopes up.