While rest of NFL rallies against Donald Trump, Bengals issue weak statement

Every NFL team that had responded to President Donald Trump’s comments by Sunday afternoon about national anthem protests had come out against Trump. Not many mentioned Trump by name, but all of them made clear that they did not agree with Trump’s statement that all players who kneel for the anthem should be fired.

Then there was the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals’ statement on the anthem protests was different than every other team statement. The Bengals basically said that players and teams should focus on football and not social issues.

After Trump’s comments, it seems like the notion that players should “stick to sports” is dead. You’d think that at very least, teams would want to support their players after Trump degraded them. It seems weird for the Bengals to punt, and pretty much say everyone should stick to sports.

Before Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers, the Bengals players linked arms for the anthem.

Players across the NFL took time to consider how they would react to Trump’s comments. Most players did something, whether it was stand with arms locked, kneel, or sit (or if you’re Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy, stretch like nothing was going on). All eyes were on the NFL during the national anthem.

The Bengals’ organization apparently thought the players shouldn’t do anything at all.

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown's team put out a statement that said the NFL's focus should be on the playing field. (AP)
Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown’s team put out a statement that said the NFL’s focus should be on the playing field. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!