With NFL players showing no signs of stopping their anthem protests, team owners have been put in a difficult situation. While many have chosen to be supportive of the players, doing so could come at quite the cost. With NFL ratings continuing their free-fall, owners stand to lose quite a substantial sum of money. Depending on how long the protests go on, it’s hard to tell when the league could hit rock bottom.
Knowing this, many organizations have attempted to come up with solutions that please both sides. While the Steelers plan to stay in the locker room backfired, other owners have come up with more creative ideas. Most recently, Detroit Lions’ owner Martha Ford offered her team a shocking incentive to stand during the anthem.
From the Detroit Free Press:
Days after linking arms with players during the singing of the national anthem, Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford asked her team not to kneel for the playing of the song during a team meeting last week.
In exchange for finding a different way to protest racial injustices around the country, Ford said she would be willing to donate both money and her name to community issues at the heart of the players’ cause.
At least one player seemed to like the idea:
“As a team, we came together, talked to Mrs. Ford, the owners, and we understand the issues for the most part, generally,” running back Ameer Abdullah said. “Me personally, I definitely want to be an aid in growing the social awareness in this country, that it is a race problem in this country.
“We do dance around the topic a lot and Mrs. Ford has come forward and said that as long as we compromise as a team and unify and make a unified demonstration, she’ll back us financially. So I’m definitely going to hold her to her word.”
Despite the offer, two players took a knee in Minnesota Sunday:
Abdullah was one of eight Lions players who took a knee for the singing of the national anthem before last week’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Only two of those players, linebackers Steve Longa and Jalen Reeves-Maybin, took a knee for the playing of the anthem Sunday, while the rest of the team linked arms on the sideline.
To some, Ford’s incentive could be the perfect solution. While it still offers players an opportunity to make a difference in areas they feel are important, it ends the practice of disrespecting our nation’s anthem and flag.
However, even that couldn’t get all of the players on board.
[Note: This post was written by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]