Lions Owner Had To Sweeten Players With Deal To Stand For Anthem
Detroit Lions Owner Martha Ford came up with a solution for the current player protests of the national anthem: offering donations.
Ford is offering her players both donations and her name towards their own philanthropic pursuits in exchange for the players not kneeling during the presentation of the national anthem, and it appears to be working, The Detroit Free Press reports.
“As a team, we came together, talked to Mrs. Ford, the owners, and we understand the issues for the most part, generally,” Lions running back Ameer Abdullah told reporters. “Me personally, I definitely want to be an aid in growing the social awareness in this country, that it is a race problem in this country.”
“We do dance around the topic a lot and Mrs. Ford has come forward and said that as long a we compromise as a team and unify and make a unified demonstration, she’ll back us financially,” he said. “So I’m definitely going to hold her to her word.”
Only two Lions players kneeled Sunday: linebackers Steven Longa and Jalen Reeves-Maybin.
The protests began in the 2016-2017 National Football League (NFL) season with former San Fransisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
WATCH THE STEELERS STAY IN THE LOCKER ROOM FOR THE ANTHEM:
He told reporters in 2016: “I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
Protesting the national anthem has precipitated from the NFL to Pop Warner football teams across the nation. Some have faced serious consequences, such as the two high school football players in Texas that were kicked off their team in late September for kneeling during the national anthem.
The president has come out tough against players and team personnel that protest.
Following the NFL opening weekend protests, Trump said that NFL owners should either fire or suspend players who kneel during the national anthem, and fans should not keep watching games if players continue to protest.
“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!” the president tweeted Sunday morning.
The president’s comments come on the heels of an impassioned speech he gave in Huntsville, Ala., in support of GOP Sen. Luther Strange.
“The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore, anyway,” Trump told a group gathered in Huntsville Friday.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out,” Trump said. “He’s fired. He’s fired!”
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