Before Sunday night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, Lions owner Martha Ford asked players on her team to stand in unity for the national anthem. The 92-year-old offered to donate money and lend her name to the causes players care about if they complied with her request.
It’s a move that most of the team agreed was a step in the right direction as it pertains to raising awareness for the injustices strewn at the African-American community.
“As far as the kneeling, she just I guess felt like there was better ways to get the point across" , defensive end Cornelius Washington said in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. "And at this point, people know what we're kneeling for so now trying to take that next step in the plan of action to foster change is, that's the next part and that's the part she's willing to get behind."
Although most of the Lions team took Ford up on her offer, there were two players who chose to kneel. One of them being Steve Longa, who lost his father to a car accident last Thursday.
Ford’s decision to reason with the players is just one more headline in a slew of news stories that have dominated the media since Colin Kaepernick chose to protest the national anthem last year. The polarizing demonstration reached a new height in week 3 of the NFL season after Donald Trump made comments disparaging players who kneel for the “patriotic” song.
If a team owner consistently donates to causes supporting the fight to end social injustices against African-Americans, should players still kneel for the anthem? Let us know your thoughts.