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A Blast to Unity

Bertha Villagomez, Contributor

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“That guy that disrespects our flag… he’s fired.” President Donald Trump said Friday, September 22, as he addressed the public over the actions of NFL teams that have made the decision to peacefully protest by kneeling when the National Anthem is being given. “Even if it’s just one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee you that’ll stop it,” Trump said. Many athletes have been protesting since Sunday due to the ill-mannered comments President Trump made about the protesters. His comments personally impacted many of the players due to his language, and lack of understanding of the protests. President Trump sparked outrage among others as a result of him calling of the NFL players vulgar names, and calling the Neo-Nazi’s in Charlottesville “good people”.

As scheduled football games were taking place on September 25, 2017, history was made. Owners of the teams encouraged the demonstrations of players and joined them on the field to lock arms and kneel. Tom Brady, Derek Carr, Dan Snyder; owner of the Redskins, coach Pete Carroll, and many other leaders took a part of this unity of protests.Much to the surprise of fans, several teams were going to make this big movement on Sunday.

“Most of the Raiders remained seated or took a knee during the national anthem prior to Sunday night’s game at Washington, including the entire offensive line, which is comprised of all minority players and is the lone all-black starting unit in the NFL, and the defensive line. Players who stood interlocked arms, as did coach Jack Del Rio, and quarterback Derek Carr appeared to pray while looking skyward and standing. “ – Paul Gutierrez said to ESPN.

The Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans were apart of divisions that stayed inside their locker rooms during the National Anthem, “We showed we have power as people and that’s what we were doing today. I think that it was super impressive,” Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett said to ESPN.

Even though there were plenty of peaceful protests due to the comments made by the President, one specific athlete made a spontaneous action to stand on the lonesome outside of Steeler’s the tunnel. Alejandro Villanueva, from the Pittsburgh Steeler’s offensive tackle, was spotted from all cameras as the only player to come out when his entire team was in the locker room during the national anthem. “When everybody sees the image of me by myself, everybody thinks the team, the Steelers, are not behind me, and that’s absolutely wrong. I made Coach [Mike] Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only. I made my teammates look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only,”- Alejandro said ESPN a week after the protest.

    Many NFL fans had much to say due to the fact that the kneeling and protesting made America’s team look unappreciative and un-American. Everyone has their own point of view and how to handle this situation. As an NFL fan, this act wasn’t to disrespect anybody who has served in the military, merely to show how this country handles political points. With peace in our mind, a positive attitude, and a warm, caring soul NFL fans and teams should unite to have the same respect for each other and make an impact movement to stop all cruel speeches that are given and to make a hatred end. Stay true to the red, white and blue!

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A Blast to Unity