Earlier this week, Roger Goodell, the NFL’s commissioner, met with the owners of all of the NFL teams to discuss how to move forward with the national anthem protests. They concluded that while they wanted players to stand, they would not force anyone to.
Goodell wrote in a memo:
Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues.
Then, before the first game since the meeting between the Raiders and the Chiefs, Marshawn Lynch of the Raiders and two players of the Chiefs sat during the national anthem.
But the players aren’t the ones who stuck out. Behind them were police officers standing in a line, facing and saluting the flag.
The very people that the players were protesting were at the game protecting them and honoring the flag during the national anthem. That’s how you make a statement.