*So far in some pre-season games, several black players have continued the protest of taking a knee for the national anthem, a gesture that began last year by now unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick in response to ill-treatment of minorities by police.
Well, look-a-here, will ya. We now have a white player who has come out in support of the black players. He is Chris Long. He’s the son of former NFL star player and long-time NFL analyst, Howie Long.
Last year, the younger Long played for the New England Patriots during their Super Bowl-winning season. The defensive end is now on the Philadelphia Eagles roster and after a recent game, explained that his decision was fueled in part by the events of last weekend in Charlottesville.
“It’s been a hard week for everybody,” he said. “It’s not just a hard week for someone being from Charlottesville. It’s a tough week for America,” Long said.
This week Chris Long turned thoughts of support into action by putting his hand on teammate Malcolm Jenkins back as Jenkins raised a fist during the national anthem. Afterwards, Long was explicit in citing his white privilege.
“I think it’s a good time for people that look like me to be there for people that are fighting for equality,” Long said one year after Colin Kaepernick first began his anthem protest.
Of course, Kaepernick began kneeling during the singing of the National Anthem during football games last season to protest the injustices of non-white Americans in the United States.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick explained last year. “It would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
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Chris Long put his arm around Malcolm Jenkins in support of his national anthem protest. pic.twitter.com/Rc7mM4sOqk
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Several analysts agree that Kaepernick’s decision to protest the anthem cost him a job this season. But the protest isn’t going away — many other players have made the decision to sit-out of the National Anthem during their games, including Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.
Interestingly, Long himself once previously criticized players who chose to kneel during the anthem.
“I’ve said before that I’ll never kneel for an anthem because the flag means something different for everybody in this country,” he said, “but I support my peers. If you don’t see why you need allies for people that are fighting for equality right now, I don’t think you’ll ever see it.”
Long also said this year that, as a member of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, he would not visit the White House for the ceremonial congratulations from President Donald Trump.
Interesting. What else is interesting will be how his dad, Howie, handles the situation on the Fox NFL Sunday show.