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Some NFL players kneel Sunday during national anthem

02 October 2017

The National Football League (NFL), the country's biggest sporting obsession, has become the field for an intense debate on racial justice and police brutality against African Americans.

The protests by athletes during the national anthem have sparked a heated discussion, but that discussion also flows into the world of NASCAR.

The current collision of sports and politics is an issue I've been following intensely for the past month, with encouragement from my sports and politics-obsessed father, who has sent me numerous articles and essays from some of the best writers in both arenas.

Augusta University Political science Professor, Craig Albert says although many disagree with the President's remarks, he's also exercising his first amendment rights.

Since then, various teams have taken different actions during the national anthem, with some teams waiting it out in the locker room, others locking arms, and still more players continuing to take a knee. Most war veterans and senior citizens are appalled by the players and clubs disregard of the thousands of lives that were laid down to defend the stars and stripes of the American flag.

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The players knelt last weekend in response to social injustice. "Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable".

Trump later tweeted video of fans and players standing at an NHL game and wrote: "19,000 RESPECTING our National Anthem!" Now, it's clear that what Kaepernick perceives as an inherent racism that permeates the country's judicial system resulting in the murder of innocent black Americans at the hands of the government is what is animating his opinion of the flag and the country. I strongly feel that that the National Football League has abused this privilege and until the players and staff agree to respect the flag and "the Republic for which it stands", the playing of the anthem should be suspended.

But many teams chose not to protest at all including the Indianapolis Colts who had every member of the team standing. As the controversy entered its second week, echoes of support came from the president's fellow party leaders.

The president spoke in an interview that aired Thursday on "Fox and Friends".

"They should all kneel", Rev. Jesse L. Jackson said.

If these players want to make a difference, they should be using their money and resources to do something about it instead of showing disrespect for our country.

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TV footage showed injured people lying on the ground and locals attempting to revive them by pumping their chests. In 2016, some 3,400 people died either from falling off the trains or while crossing the tracks.

Instead, they point to a set of ideals that America has striven to exemplify. And how will this impact the young Trump presidency?

"I have no problem with people protesting".

"I think the initial reason for kneeling, I understand that", the 35-year-old Collins told CNN Sport.

ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted photos of the Raiders' Marshawn Lynch wearing an "Everybody vs. Trump" t-shirt as he arrived to the game Sunday.

In Baltimore, Ravens fans booed their team as they took to one knee for a "moment of unity" ahead of their game against Pittsburgh.

Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders
The Broncos' offense didn't have many answers for the Buffalo Bills , with Trevor Siemian throwing two picks in a 26-16 loss. In the NFL's toughest division, even these early games could define playoff positions, and both teams will come out swinging.

Some NFL players kneel Sunday during national anthem