278 Players Fired by NFL in Response to National Anthem Protests
September 26th, 2017 - 278 players from various teams around the NFL have been fired this afternoon after they kneeled, locked arms, or otherwise protested the national anthem this past Sunday. The commissioner of the NFL, who requested that he remain nameless, released a short statement explaining his reasoning behind the decision:
“The National Football League cannot condone the actions that our players have taken this weekend. Kneeling for the national anthem is a clear violation of league rules, as it makes our players look weak and low-energy. It’s bad enough that these guys keep complaining about minor ailments like ‘recurring headaches’ and ‘long-term brain damage,’ but now they can’t even stand up for the entirety of a two-minute song, and that makes the NFL look bad. As a result of the decisions these players have made, anyone who did not stand at attention for the full duration of the national anthem has been terminated from their contract effective immediately.”
The commissioner later admitted that his decision was influenced by President Trump’s desire to see the players that protested lose their jobs. Trump has loudly voiced his displeasure at the protests that have swept through the National Football League at rallies and press conferences, but mostly on Twitter:
But it is not the first time Trump has weighed in on an NFL controversy. He previously used Twitter to complain about how the prevention of brain injuries was killing the sport:
The anthem protest, which began with then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a knee at the beginning of last season in order to protest racial inequalities in America, reached new magnitudes this weekend in response to Trump's fiery comments. Hundreds of players around the league chose to kneel, sit, or link arms in a show of protest and unity. As a result, every player involved has been fired. This includes the entire Pittsburgh Steelers roster, all of whom (with the exception of Alejandro Villanueva) remained in the locker while the anthem played. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said that while losing his entire team could be considered a "setback," the fans shouldn't give up hope on the season just yet.