When the Bengals start the 2020 season with a home game against the Chargers, the Bengals may be starting the game with a powerful statement.
Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Bengals are considering whether to stay in the locker room or to collectively kneel during the national anthem. Dragon’s report is based on multiple unnamed sources, reflecting internal discussions among the players.
A final decision, per the report, has not been made.
Safety Eric Reid once filed a grievance against the Bengals after a visit to Cincinnati ultimately resulted in owner Mike Brown allegedly asking Reid whether he planned to kneel during the anthem and then allegedly losing interest in him when he didn’t answer the question. (An arbitrator later ruled that the Bengals were within their rights to ask the question.)
This year, at least for Week One, the Bengals may be dealing with the full team either kneeling for the anthem or skipping it entirely. The much bigger question will continue to be how the league and the owners will react once the blowback comes. Will the league and the owners keep quiet in the hopes of not inflaming the issue, or will the league and the owners stand up and push back against whoever criticizes the players for exercising their right to peacefully protest?
It’s a critical question for the league and the owners, given that the players may insist far more loudly and forcefully than they did in 2017 on the league and the owners truly having their backs by getting in the faces of anyone who inevitably will chastise the players for, as the narratives go, disrespecting the flag, the anthem, and/or the military, and/or otherwise not sticking to sports.
Bengals may stay in locker room for anthem or collectively kneel originally appeared on Pro Football Talk