Tuesday, September 26, 2017
 
TV Networks Carefully Choreograph National Anthem on NFL’s Opening Weekend

WASHINGTON, D.C. Sept. 12 (DPI) – The NFL may have to re-vamp its pre-game ceremonies if fistfights and other disruptions break out among fans, now that there’s a precedent for protest during the playing of the anthem. In fact, the league may have to either play the national anthem prior to players coming on the field or stop playing it altogether, if the anthem triggers fights among fans attending league games.

Thanks in part to television networks carefully disclosing events at the stadiums, especially on Sunday, the 15th anniversary of 9/11, NFL fans at home saw only a few seconds of protest during the playing og the national anthem.

The league itself remains in a tight spot. League Commissioner Roger Goodell has stayed largely above the controversy, but he has acknowledged that protests against the flag by players could hurt the league and its standing as the most popular sport among fans in the US.

Goodell finally gave an interview to the Associated Press nearly two weeks after San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem prior to an August pre-season game.

That act of civil disobedience was widely supported by some activists, and more and more sit-downs by players during the playing of the national anthem are expected. One NAACP official compared Kaepernick with Rosa Parks.

Goodell faces a very delicate situation, set off of course by the growing racial divide in the nation in recent years. He told the AP that “did not necessarily agree” with what Kaepernick had done.

A New York Times op-ed by a staff sportswriter mocked Goodell for his cautious remarks, but the league, the most popular sports league in America, faces a volatile situation as it opens its 2016 season this weekend.

http://pro32.ap.org/article/goodell-doesnt-agree-kaepernicks-actions

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