During the NFL's 2016 preseason, Colin Kaepernick was first noticed kneeling during the National Anthem. Since then, many athletes have followed suit, from professionals to amateurs from around the country. In light of recent events, the NFL is reevaluating its stance on players kneeling.
In 2018, the NFL announced a new policy saying players would not allowed to kneel for the National Anthem without leaving themselves open to punishment. The league then gave players the option to stay in the locker room during the anthem. Since then, athletes continued to support Kaepernick's message in many other forms.
Athletes Help Kaepernick Fight for Equality
Eric Reid, Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, and others will continue to kneel in solidarity with Kaepernick's message. When reporter Aaron Wilson asked NFL star Adrian Peterson if he would kneel during the national anthem this season, Peterson responded by saying:
"Years ago, seeing (Colin) Kaepernick taking a knee, now we're all ready to take a knee together going into this season without a doubt."
George Floyd Protests Inspire Goodell
Amid the outpour of support for change, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is taking notice. In a statement video, Goodell says that the league has not listened to players in the past, and that the NFL condemns racism and the systematic oppression of black people.
"We encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We the National Football League believe Black Lives Matter."
The NFL season is set to kickoff on September 10th when the Kansas City Chiefs face the Houston Texans.
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