The 2020 NFL season is only a few days away, but the protests against racial injustice aren’t going away anytime soon. So what does Denver Broncos GM John Elway plan to do if the players want to protest during the national anthem?
Speaking to 9Sports, Elway said that he’s spoken to the team about the matter. He made it clear that he will respect the decisions of everyone on the team – whether they opt to kneel or stand.
“We have talked to team,” Elway said. “Where I stand is where Broncos stand… players can do as they wish… All we ask is everybody respect everybody… If someone wants to stand, respect they want to stand. Somebody wants to kneel, respect the rights.”
Just about every NFL team has or had a different take on the matter. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones only recently made it clear that his players can kneel if they want to.
Elway on Anthem: “we have talked to team … where I stand is where Broncos stand … players can do as they wish … All we ask is everybody respect everybody. … If someone wants to stand, respect they want to stand. Somebody wants to kneel, respect the rights.” #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) September 5, 2020
Kneeling during the national anthem became the preferred method of protest against racial injustice by Colin Kaepernick in 2016. A number of NFL players joined him in kneeling, but many others repudiated him for it.
However, since the major protests began in the summer following the death of George Floyd, kneeling during the anthem has become a sign of solidarity with the movement in the USA and across the world.
It remains a potentially divisive topic across the NFL, though.
We’ll find out in the days to come how fans react as the kneeling becomes far more mainstream in the NFL.