Falcons players encouraged to make their own decisions over anthem

Omnisport
Although Atlanta Falcons players have been asked to stand for the anthem, owner Arthur Blank wants it to be of their own volition.

Falcons players encouraged to make their own decisions over anthem

Although Atlanta Falcons players have been asked to stand for the anthem, owner Arthur Blank wants it to be of their own volition.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is keen for NFL players to make their own decision on how to act during the national anthem, although his team have been asked to stand.

Players knelt in protest at perceived social injustices throughout the 2017 season, prompting a new anthem policy from the NFL that states anyone on the field must stand.

The NFLPA are disputing the policy and remain in talks with the league, and Blank suggests the Falcons have worked to show players that they are seeking to address these issues.

"I think, on our roster, they've seen the progress that we've made collectively in terms in the social-injustice issues - the players, our ownership, franchise and coaches alike," Blank said.

"So if you have players who still feel that's the way they have to express themselves, they will. But I don't think you'll see that much [in terms of protests].

"It's far better to have somebody make those decisions themselves than to hit them over the head with a hammer."

And Blank followed Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in suggesting that United States president Donald Trump's outspoken views on the matter are problematic.

"When you have a president with the biggest mic in the room, who can take this issue into many different directions for his own reasons, it makes this very difficult," Blank added.

"We're going to do the right thing for our flag, the right thing for our players, the right thing for our fans.

"It starts with that we've asked our players to stand for the national anthem. They've done that nearly all of last year."

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