Reports earlier today have the Raiders entire offensive line expected to kneel for the National Anthem prior to tonights game. The veteran among those linemen is Pro Bowl left tackle, Donald Penn. He spoke on the subject, offering his take on Trump’s comments in which he called for and the NFL’s response.
“It’s very disheartening, president Trump’s comments,” Penn told NBC Saturday night. “For him to be — supposed to be — the leader of our country, instead of trying to ways to fix the problem, he’s always talking about the problem, demeaning the problem. I just wish there was a better way that we could handle this and I think it’s going to start a domino effect. I think it’s going to start a lot more protests, a lot more guys are going to start taking knees, a lot more guys aren’t going to stand for the National Anthem because he’s basically calling us out.”
Penn was right. Hundreds of players have taken a knee for games across the country, starting with the game in London between the Jaguars and Ravens. The Steelers opted to keep their entire team in the locker room for the Anthem, which, if you’ll recall, used to be the norm prior to 2009.
The protests originated as being against racial profiling and police brutality, but have been provoked by Donald Trump at a rally in Alabama Friday calling for NFL owners fire players for kneeling, saying “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now!”