What began more than a year ago with a lone NFL quarterback protesting police brutality against minorities by kneeling silently during the national anthem before games has grown into a roa.
Hundreds of players are sitting, kneeling, locking arms or remaining in locker rooms — their reasons for demonstrating as varied as their methods.
Yet people rallying to defend players or decry the protests aren’t talking about police brutality, or the fact that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is no longer employed by an NFL team. Especially after President Donald Trump weighed in repeatedly to say that players should stand for the anthem or be fired for their defiance.
Before NFL games began Sunday, the discourse had morphed into a debate over the First Amendment, Trump’s insults, how much the NFL has been paid by the U.S. government for its displays of patriotism and the overall state of race relations in America. Support and criticism came from fields well beyond the gridiron, including NASCAR, the NBA, MLB, activists, journalists, entertainers and politicians.
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