Colin Kaepernick named "CITIZEN OF THE YEAR"!
NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, and many came away thinking it was beneficial.
Indianapolis Colts defensive back Darius Butler, who was in attendance, said that the league and owners hearing the players' perspective was the most important thing.
"Obviously it's a different perspective," he said. "I think that's the most important thing when it comes to these issues, perspective and respect everyone's right regardless of how they feel. Whether it is peacefully protesting or speaking on these issues. I think it's important to respect everyone."
"We heard what they had to say and they heard us," Ross said. "It's open talks and that's a good thing."
A group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met at the league's headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing players' platforms for speaking out on social issues.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is credited for starting the movement by kneeling during the national anthem, was invited but did not attend the meeting, according to Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. He said he did not know why.
Kaepernick's lawyer, Mark Geragos, issued a statement clarifying the invitation.
"Colin Kaepernick was not invited to attend today's meeting by any official from the NFL or any team executives," he said. "Other players wanted him present and have asked that he attend the next meeting with the goal of forging a lasting and faithful consensus around these issues. Mr. Kaepernick is open to future participation on these important discussions."
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On Sept. 30, five Kennesaw State cheerleaders kneeled during the national anthem prior to a football game against North Greenville University. They were subsequently restricted to a stadium tunnel during the playing of the anthem, and an explanation was given by the school that the new procedure was unrelated to the protest and already in the works.
Some investigative work by Georgia news outlets, including 11Alive, found text messages between state rep. Earl Ehrhart and sheriff Rick Warren indicating they were “furious” about the protests. Ehrhart reportedly criticized KSU president Sam Olens for “coddling” the cheerleaders and Warren responded, “Let me know what I can do to help you stop this BS on taxpayer-funded college campuses.”
Further exchanges reported by 11Alive suggest the elected official and the law enforcement leader had indeed pressured the school president into making a decision involving free speech.
“I just got off the telephone with [Olens] again, reference the unpatriotic cheerleaders kneeling during the national anthem,” Warren wrote. “He assured me that the cheerleaders will not be on field from now on. Thanks for always standing up to these liberal[s] that hate the USA.”
“Yes, we spoke last night,” Ehrhart replied. “[Olens] had to be dragged there, but with you and I pushing, he had no choice. Thanks for your patriotism, my friend.”
Is that “patriotism”? Or unconstitutional pressure?