Football Protests Fallout

As they head into another weekend of football, teams are grappling with the fallout of last weekend's protests. Here are some examples of how the protests in the field have impacted players and fans.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans informed the NFL about the death threats to Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker and his family because of the anthem protests. The league said Friday its security department is investigating. Walker disclosed the threats Thursday night in a post shared on social media . Walker told fans upset by the protests that they didn't have to go to the games if they felt disrespected. Walker, who represented the NFL on a USO Tour of the Middle East last spring, made clear in his post he won't be deterred. "The racist and violent words directed at me and my son only serve as another reminder that our country remains divided and full of hateful rhetoric," Walker wrote. "These words of hate will only fuel me in my efforts to continue my work reaching out to different community groups, listening to opposing voices, and honoring the men and women in the Armed Forces who risk their lives every day so that we may have this dialogue."


COLUMBUS, Ohio - A Republican congressman running for Ohio governor has pulled a $20,000 television ad from an upcoming NFL broadcast over protests by players kneeling during the national anthem. U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci announced Friday he was cancelling an ad scheduled to run Sunday during the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals. Renacci acknowledges players' First Amendment right to the protest but calls the behavior appalling and disparaging to the U.S. flag and the national anthem. He says the ad will be rescheduled for a non-NFL event.


NEW YORK  - New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees says the team will kneel and then stand for the national anthem before their game against Miami in London. Brees says in a tweet on Friday, "As a way to show respect to all, our #Saints team will kneel in solidarity prior to the national anthem & stand together during the anthem." That's also how the Dallas Cowboys dealt with their anthem protest on Monday night in a game against the New York Giants. Ten Saints players sat on the bench during the anthem last Sunday.


LANSING, Mich. - An internal investigation will determine whether the director of the Michigan State Police will be disciplined for sharing a Facebook post that called NFL players protesting during the national anthem "anti-American degenerates," the agency said Friday. Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue will be treated the same as any other state police employee accused of misconduct, State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said. If she is found to have violated the agency's social media policy, discipline could range between a written reprimand and a five-day suspension based on what has been assessed for similar violations, Banner said. Etue on Sunday shared a meme on her personal Facebook account signed "We the People." It called NFL players who kneel during the national anthem "millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans." Etue has apologized, and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has said he will not fire her despite calls from Democratic lawmakers, a gubernatorial candidate, civil rights groups and others for her ouster.


SWANSEA, Mass. - New England Patriots fans have burned team gear in protest after a number of players kneeled during the national anthem before last weekend's game. More than 100 people came out to Swansea, Massachusetts, on Thursday night to throw Patriots T-shirts and other team apparel into a fire pit as they waved American flags and sang patriotic songs. Mark Shane says he organized the event on his front lawn because he felt Patriots players, and many others across the NFL who kneeled before their games Sunday, were disrespecting veterans. The kneeling protests started last year as a statement against the killings of unarmed black men and boys at the hands of police. President Donald Trump had earlier called on NFL owners to fire players who didn't stand for the anthem.

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