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NFL Anthem Protests Week 11 – Kneeling Continues After Veteran’s Day Respite

It’s a key weekend for the National Football League, and the results have nothing to do with playoff prospects. Instead, all eyes will turn once again to the pre-game activities and the player choices during the national anthem. After a one-week respite by some players for Veteran’s Day – which saw participation in kneeling and other forms of protest drop significantly – the majority of players now will have to decide if they have made their point or will continue to… Read


NFL Anthem Protests Week 10: Boycott Calls, But Players Show Respect

The National Football League has indicated there will be “no change” in its policy on player conduct during the national anthem, despite a campaign to boycott Sunday’s games over kneeling during the song. The NFL policy indicates that players “should” stand during the anthem, but has no mandatory requirements. Many teams have asked players to stay inside as a protest rather than kneel or sit, which some have followed in the weeks after it was instituted. Boycott The NFL… Read


‘Sunday Night Football’ Ratings Steady With Season Low As Raiders Win

At the halfway point now in the NFL season, the much traveled Oakland Raiders pulled off a Sunday Night Football win against the Miami Dolphins as yet again protests stole much of the game's thunder. The Raiders' Week 9 27-24 victory saw the Dolphins' Michael Thomas, Julius Thomas and wide receiver Kenny Stills kneel during the national anthem. That's the first such protest by players for the Florida franchise since the team's coach instituted a rule against such… Read


NFL Anthem Protests Week 9: Vin Scully Speaks Out As Finger-Pointing Continues

The NFL player protests during the national anthem have devolved into a circular finger-point of blame, as no resolution of the issue seems in sight, or even possible. This week, Papa John’s Pizza,  a disabled veteran, Howard University cheerleaders, a bar owner, and Dodgers broadcasting legend Vin Scully weighed in with their own stances on the controversy. Scully was the latest to pile on. During a speech Saturday night at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium,  he was asked… Read


NBCU Ad Chief Says Anthem Protests Hurt NFL Ratings, But Brands Hold Firm

Echoing sentiments from CBS boss Leslie Moonves yesterday, NBCUniversal’s head of advertising, Linda Yaccarino, said that no advertisers have bailed on NFL broadcasts on NBC. Nevertheless, she does believe anthem protests by players have hurt ratings. “I don’t think there’s any way to prove it, but I do think it has affected the ratings,” she said during a conversation billed as a “fireside chat” with Oath CEO Tim Armstrong held for employees at the Manhattan offices of Ve… Read


Papa John’s Stock Sliced By 9% As CEO Rips NFL For Fumbling Anthem Response

NFL National Anthem

Pizza chain Papa John’s reported disappointing quarterly earnings, and then execs threw gas on the fire by blaming NFL leaders for the season’s “significant decline” in TV ratings. Shares closed at $62.26, down 9%, partly due to doughy quarterly numbers but also due to the alarms raised by executives about the ongoing angst over player protests, which have been one of the major factors in the league’s ratings downturn. For Papa John’s the equation is simple: Fewer viewers… Read


NFL Protests Reach A Boiling Point, As Players, Owners Cancel Social Concerns Meeting

SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE:  Things are going from bad to worse regarding relations between NFL players, owners and fans. On a day when the largest national anthem protest yet was staged, it now appears that players and owners will not be meeting as planned to discuss a solution to the ongoing social justice concerns that prompted the protests. Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the key spokesmen for the players, says a meeting between the owners and players to… Read


Astros’ Gurriel Suspended Five Games For Racially Insensitive Remarks; Houston Football Owner McNair Apologizes Again

UPDATE:  Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has suspended Houston Astros player Yuli Garriel for five games without pay in the 2018 season for his racially insensitive actions in Friday night’s World Series game. Gurriel will have to undergo sensitivity training, and the Astros said they would donate his salary for the missed games to charities, including at least one supporting diversity efforts. Gurriel had just returned to his dugout Friday after hitting a home run… Read


NFL Anthem Protests Continue As Owners Dither, Trump Agitates, Fans React

National anthem protests continued during Week 7 in the National Football League, although the headcount of those kneeling or otherwise acting out during the song has greatly diminished, mirroring media coverage of the actions. Both protesting players and those opposed to their tactics now seem locked-in on their respective stances regarding the righteousness of the protests. The same players who protested in previous weeks either stayed in the locker room, kneeled or… Read


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Responds To Donald Trump Outrage — Sort Of

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a news conference today to discuss the ongoing controversy about player protests and, ostensibly, to respond to President Donald Trump’s latest angry tweet about them. But amid a number of repeated words and phrases like “dialogue,” “understanding” and “underlying issues,” he certainly didn’t clarify much — though he noted that it’s time “to make sure we get back to football.” He also never mentioned POTUS by name, by office or by… Read


NFL Players Continue Anthem Protests In Week Six Despite Commissoner Plea

NFL player protests during the national anthem continued this week, defying pleas by Commissioner Roger Goodell and some team owners to have everyone stand for the song. While fewer teams had mass protests this week than in the early games, some players still kneeled, while others stayed in the locker room for the pre-game national anthem. The prior protests have sparked fan outrage and might have hurt television ratings, with some angry observers and at least one sponsor… Read


Donald Trump Takes Victory Lap On ‘Hannity’ In Feud With NFL

Donald Trump appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel show tonight and took a victory lap in his battle with the NFL and players taking a knee during the national anthem. “I watched Colin Kaepernick and I thought it was terrible,” he said as the audience booed loudly. “And then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming. And frankly the NFL should have suspended him for one game, and he would have never done it again. They could have then suspended him for two… Read