Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster is the latest NFL player to kneel during the National Anthem. Along with some of his teammates, Foster elected not to stand during the National Anthem and knelt on the sideline.
— Dolphins News (@MDoplphinsNews) September 11, 2016
He warned the team ahead of time based on the amount of time it took for the Dolphins to release a statement via social media.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 11, 2016
There is no mandate in the NFL CBA that players or any team personnel must stand for the National Anthem. It’s requested they do, but the first amendment protects their freedom to choose whether or not they do.
On the other side of the field, the Seattle Seahawks linked arms in an act of unity.
Some video of the moments before anthem. pic.twitter.com/x16Ln1XBpd
— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) September 11, 2016
There are many camps of thinking around the standing during the National Anthem. However, this is one of the few things the NFL has handled well recently. Teams have been receptive to allowing athletes to exercise their constitutional right by not standing. After Colin Kaepernick had sat on the bench while dressed, it got swept up in the news. Then, he decided to kneel after having meaningful conversation around the issue.
No matter where you fall on the spectrum of thinking, the players do have a right not to stand. Many people are up in arms on Twitter because Foster and others didn’t want to stand for the National Anthem on 9/11. It’s not disrespectful to those who passed away 15 years ago or those fighting for our freedom. In America, we have the right to choose on a lot of different issues because of those fighting for our freedom.
Nonetheless, Foster’s and the Seahawks’ actions are the first political message sent during a sporting event, and it won’t be the last. America is the land of the free and the home of the brave, and its citizens have the right to stand or not during the National Anthem.