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While most NFL players seemed to get behind the idea of giving up their national anthem demonstrations after one week, Kansas City Chiefs star cornerback Marcus Peters wasn’t ready to stand yet.
Peters and Chiefs linebacker Ukeme Eligwe were the only two players to sit for the anthem from either the Chiefs or the Washington Redskins before Monday night’s game, according to reporters in the press box.
Last season, Peters raised a fist during the anthem. This season he has been sitting.
“I was just stating how I’m black, and I love being black, (and) I’m supporting Colin in what he’s doing as far as raising awareness with the justice system,” Peters said last September about raising his fist, according to USA Today. “But I didn’t mean anything (bad) by it.”
A week after the demonstrations reached their height, following President Donald Trump’s remarks about players who sit for the anthem, far fewer players sat or knelt for the anthem in Week 4 (it’s funny that we have heard for a week – and for more than a year, really – how sacred the anthem is … yet Kansas City fans amend the final line to “home of the CHIEFS” at the end). Some teams took a knee before the anthem, and still were booed (is the anger over respect for the anthem, or are people mad about something entirely different? Hmm). Some teams linked arms. Most of the Redskins players appeared to be linking arms before Monday’s game.
A few players haven’t given up their personal protest, which was originally done by Colin Kaepernick to bring attention to racial injustice and police brutality. Considering those problems haven’t been fixed, it makes sense why some players wouldn’t want to stand just to conform to the NFL’s groupthink.
Players, like Peters, who continue to sit for the anthem even after most other players have given up that fight will stand out. They’ll be booed and heckled, even though that also seems counterintuitive to the notion that everyone needs to respect the anthem and that’s why people are mad. Peters and the others know the backlash they’ll face. To them, it’s worth it to bring attention to their cause.
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