NACCP To NFL Owners Who Betrayed Players -- Don't Be Cowardly Chickens

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NFL overseer Roger Goodell. Photo--Flickr.

Black Star News editor's note: The following item, banning kneeling during the playing of the national anthem by players in the National Football League--most of whom are Black-- has been posted on www.nfl.com:

"The NFL will enact a national anthem policy for 2018 that requires players and league personnel on the sideline to stand but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they don't want to stand, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Wednesday.

Under the change approved by team owners at the Spring League Meeting, individual clubs will have the power to set their own policies to ensure the anthem is being respected during any on-field action. If a player chooses to protest on the sideline, the NFL will fine the team. The player also could be fined by his team, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Judy Battista reported.

Goodell said the six changes under the policy were unanimously approved by team owners who voted. San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York said he abstained from voting, in part, due to the lack of player involvement in the decision process."

Today, the NAACP reacted to the NFL's announcement by issuing the following statement:

“Protest is an American tradition; by protesting we work to hold our country accountable to its highest ideals. Instead of coming together to address an issue disproportionately plaguing the African-American, the NFL owners have chosen to bury their heads and silence players. Players cannot disconnect from the aggression African-Americans face every day. Just a few weeks ago, an NFL player was stopped by police and accused of being a gang member. Others including Michael Bennett have experienced dangerous and threatening experiences at the hands of police.

“The issue of police brutality remains a pressing issue when 408 people have been killed by police this year. Black men are almost three times more likely to be killed by the use of deadly force than White men. Despite the annual killing of approximately 1,000 people by police, in a 12-year period, only 28 police officers were convicted of murder or manslaughter for an on-duty killing.

“The NAACP supports and commends the athletes in the NFL, NBA, and WNBA who refuse to stay quiet and just play ball - they stand strong with all people who continue to fight for social justice.”

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