NFL Still Has a Long Way To Go in Fight For Equality
The Kansas City Chiefs mounted an unstoppable comeback to beat the Houston Texans 34 – 20 in the NFL season opener. The fans in attendance, however, were less impressive.
Chiefs and Texans players began the game with a moment of silence, ‘dedicated to the ongoing fight for equality in our country’.
Reports say that fans at Arrowhead Stadium jeered during the moment of silence, during which some opposing players linked arms.
It was less a protest and more a show of solidarity following an offseason of protests against racism and police brutality.
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It was also an offseason where commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that the league should have been listening to its players regarding peaceful protest. He has over the past couple of months been throwing his support behind players who intend to process, even defying President Trump, who has the league on a short leash, in the process. Goodell admits the league needs to do more.
A number of initiatives were announced prior to the season, including the inscription of social justice messages on NFL endzones. Messages will also be allowed on player helmets.
As well as that, Lift Every Voice And Sing, the Black National Anthem, will be played alongside the Star-Spangled Banner before Week 1 Games.
However, NFL players are still unsatisfied, and Houston Texans players chose to remain in the locker room for both songs.
On Thursday, Miami Dolphins players announced their intention to follow suit.
“This attempt to unify only creates more divide. So we’ll skip this song and dance, and as a team we’ll stay inside,” the players said in a video.
“We need changed hearts, not just a response to pressure. Enough, no more fluff and empty gestures. We need owners with influence and pockets bigger than ours to call up officials and flex political power.”