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Methods of protest by NFL players condemned by some, supported by others

Methods of protest by NFL players condemned by some, supported by others

Brittany Costello
September 24, 2017 10:14 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Sunday’s NFL games were turning heads before players even took a snap.

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Dozens of players sat, knelt or raised their fists during the national anthem in protest of remarks made by President Donald Trump who some saw as divisive. The week before, just six players did so to protest social issues like police brutality.

Those actions follow comments by Trump that players who refuse to stand should be fired by the league.

Before boarding Air Force One Sunday in New Jersey, the president again called the players disrespectful and demanded team owners put a stop to the way they chose to protest.

"This has nothing to do with race or anything else. This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag,” Trump said.

The NFL and its players, meanwhile, have been united in condemning the president's criticisms. New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, a noted friend of Trump, said he felt "deep disappointment" with his comments.

Many New Mexicans also shared that sentiment.

While some disagree with Trump, many were split when it comes to the way athletes are responding. Some people said they are doing the right thing; that they have the right to peacefully protest like anyone else.

But still others believe politics and sports shouldn't mingle, saying that how those players chose to protest was disrespectful.

“I’m all in favor of it,” said Wayne Santoro, who lives in Albuquerque. “We live in a racist society. People have a right to protest. Protest is fundamental to democracy, so people are voicing their opinion.”

Richard Moody, meanwhile, said a football field isn’t the place to protest.

“I think it’s disrespectful to not stand and take off a cap if you’re a man, if we're saying the Pledge of Allegiance or the national anthem, either one,” Moody said.

The trend started last season when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled to protest the sometimes unjust treatment of African Americans by police.

Trump added fuel to the fire after his controversial comments Friday, when he tweeted "if a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our great American flag."

He went on to tweet those athletes should be fired or suspended.

“I think our president did a ridiculous job in stirring all this up once again, insulting a majority of Americans as he tends to do,” said Brian Crockett, another local resident. “I believe the NFL players have not just every right but a responsibility to step up and kneel down just as they should.”

Other New Mexicans say while they do not support Trump’s comments, there are better ways to send the message.

“I just think it's disrespectful, bad,” Chris Martinez said. “We're all Americans. I mean, that’s all there is to it. I know everyone has their own right, has the rights to do whatever they want, but it's just not American at all. It’s just wrong in general."

Credits

Brittany Costello

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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