4 players went against their coach’s orders to raise their fists in protest against police violence during the anthem before their game against New York Giants.
On Sunday, four Washington Redskins players raised their fists as a symbol of protest against police violence on African-Americans. The 4 athletes have finally joined other NFL players who took a stand against social injustice in our nation.
It took two additional deaths of Black unarmed men at the hands of police officers for DeSean Jackson, Niles Paul, Greg Toler and Rashad Ross to defy their coach’s orders in favor of exercising their right to protest against police violence during the national anthem.
At the beginning of the season, Redskins coach Jay Gruden stated that his team wasn’t going to take part in any protests during the playing of the national anthem, as he believed all his players had to “stand up and give respect” whenever the national anthem was played.
“The Redskins have a lot of respect for what goes on for our country with those people. And for three minutes, for us to take our helmet off and stand up and give respect is how we treat it here with the Redskins,” Gruden claimed.
However, there have been no words of the coach’s reaction to his players’ actions. The players exercised their right to protest by raising their fists as a gesture of Black solidarity at a time when police brutality is becoming the order of the day.
The brave Colin Kaepernick, who was the first NFL player to make a gesture in a bid to fight against social injustice, believed he had seen enough of the oppression and racial discrimination. Other NFL players have followed his example and have either knelt or raised their fists during the national anthem.
It might, at first sight, seem disrespectful towards the hymn and the country, but what could these players have done for the authorities to pay attention to reasons for their actions? The issues of police brutality and the oppression of Black people have been ignored by the authorities for too long and as they continue to do so, Kaepernick’s syndrome is becoming an epidemy.