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After protests across NFL in response to Trump comments, gauging fan reactions and how far free speech extends in private sector

by AirTalk®

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Members of the Houston Texans kneel before a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Billie Weiss/Getty Images

If you’ve ever watched an interview or press conference with an NFL coach or player after a football game in the past, you’ve probably seen how they often prefer to focus on their play or their team’s play on the field rather than social or political issues happening off the field. However, this past Sunday it was clear that for almost every NFL team, football wasn’t the only thing on their minds.

About 200 individual players knelt, sat, or raised their fists as the national anthem was played before each game. Other teams stayed in the locker room until the anthem was over, a choice that some organizations said was meant to take a stand against injustice and others said was to avoid the appearance of taking sides and that their absence isn’t intended to be unpatriotic. Fans had mixed reactions.

What did you think of President Trump’s comments? What about the way NFL players, coaches and owners responded during the national anthem? For many people, sports like football are supposed to be a way to escape from the march of the daily news cycle, but will the semi-politicization of football games as an event turn some fans away? If you’re already a football fan, will the recent protests change your watching habits at all? If you’re not a fan, will you be more likely to watch? If you watched the Sunday games with a group, what were your conversations like? Did you talk about the protests at all?


Eugene Volokh, professor of law at UCLA and founder of The Volokh Conspiracy blog on the Washington Post

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