October 10, 2017
A new chapter in the US-campaign, in which NFL-players try to play their part in raising awareness for racial injustice in America. The protests during the anthem by NFL players, almost all African American, began last year when the then 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled in protest against racial injustice and police brutality. 49ers players have been prominent among those kneeling this season.
Though Kaepernick had knelt to protest against unpunished police killings of African Americans, the president and the White House insisted that protesting during the anthem showed disrespect to the flag and to American troops, veterans and first responders.
On Sunday, after at least 20 members of the San Francisco 49ers were kneeling during the national anthem, US Vice President Mike Pence decided to leave the stadium, staging his own little protest. Pence announced his departure from the Lucas Oil Stadium on Twitter. A White House statement followed, with a tweet from President Donald Trump which confirmed the walkout was not spontaneous.
“I will keep doing what I feel is necessary to use a platform that I have to make those changes. It is just really disheartening when everything I was raised on, was to be the best person I could be to help people that need help. And the Vice-President of the United States, is trying to confuse the message that we are trying to put out there,” said 49ers player Eric Reid.
Read more about the campaign and Eric Reid here.
Photograph: Michael Conroy/AP (www.theguardian.com)