Anthem issue apparently affected several teams last week

AP

The unexpected anthem controversy, which arose last Friday night when the President used profane language to essentially challenge the players and the owners, affected every team. But it definitely affected some more than others.

Multiple teams, whether they’ll admit it or not (and few will if for no reason other than to avoid the appearance of excuse-making) apparently were impacted by the issue, which created a real distraction last Saturday and Sunday from the normal pregame routine. For some teams, the disruption extended into Saturday night (impacting sleep schedules) and remained right up until kickoff on Sunday.

It’s easy to spot the potential disruption as to teams that performed more poorly than expected. The Steelers apparently were affected by the question not of whether to stand or kneel but whether to even enter the field of play for the anthem. So were the Ravens, who fell flat in London against the Jaguars; as one league source explained it to PFT, players like linebacker Terrell Suggs were “a mess” prior to the game, due directly to the anthem controversy.

The Broncos also may have been affected, given the in-house tension that always has existed there regarding whether to stand for the anthem. Ditto for the Dolphins, who have had multiple players (Kenny Stills and Michael Thomas) at the forefront of the issue. Stills had previously decided to stop kneeling and had originally planned to stand last Sunday, ended up taking a knee. (Both took a knee on Sunday in London, but they had a full week to consider the issue this time around.)

Likewise, the Raiders apparently were affected. Though the most controversial tin-foil hat theories emerging from the team’s ugly loss in Washington has not yet been corroborated (and may never be), a league source tells PFT. that there was some acrimony within the locker room between those who didn’t stand and those who stood for the anthem, especially with the entire starting offensive line not standing and the man they protect choosing to stand.

Even though the Cowboys won on Monday night, they started slowly and looked sluggish. As one source explained it to PFT, some players were considering defying what ultimately was an edict from owner Jerry Jones regarding the plan to collectively kneel before the anthem and then stand.

As Week Four unfolds, it will be interesting to see how all teams handle the issue, and ultimately whether there’s any reason to think that performance is being impacted by the way that a given team has handled a controversy that the league desperately hopes will go away for could, but that still lingers.

14 responses to “Anthem issue apparently affected several teams last week

  1. I don’t know how it couldn’t have, and underscores the whole workplace issue that most choose to ignore. The issues surrounding the protests by the players are extremely important and need to be addressed, just not on their employer’s time. When you’re on the company clock, do what the company asks of you. When you’re off the clock, do what compels you. The NFL is no different than any other private employer, despite the media’s portrayal to the contrary.

  2. If you are a player on the Cowboys and you have a problem with the killing of unarmed black men you should be kneeling this week. I don’t understand how Jerry Jones feel that little demonstration he pulled last week should be the end of the protest. The issue has yet to be addressed and until it does a bright light should continue to be shined on this issue. Kneeling seems to be getting under people skin so it should continue until issues are addressed.

  3. So we are supposed to feel bad that they had a bad day due to their protest?

    Their decision caused the issue, why should we feel for them with that?

    Right or wrong, as adult you are responsible, making excuses afterwards sounds a little – well lame.

  4. That’s because even the players have no clue what they’re even protesting. They’re sheep. Most didn’t even vote and gave up making their voice heard for real.

  5. There is no epidemic of police killing unarmed black men.

    16 unarmed black men were killed last year. This includes those that were fighting for the police officer’s gun.

    Statistically, there is a better chance of a black person winning the lottery then walking outside and getting struck by lightning than being unarmed and being shot by the police.

  6. Men with consciences get distracted. Men who realize they have a responsibility to something larger than themselves get distracted. Men who’ve been trying to stay out of the fray but suddenly realize they live in a country where leaders champion “good people” carrying the battle flags of rogue nations that killed thousands of American troops but label as SOBs those who engage in a simple gesture to highlight injustice.

    The events of last week made a lot of people rethink. I’ve been criticizing Kaepernick for bringing it onto the field. I was wrong. The hatred needs to be exposed.

  7. They may be players, but they’re also men. Most of them had been trying to stay out of the fray until their patriotism was attacked on a national stage by someone who’d defended those carrying battle flags of enemy nations that killed thousands of Americans. It’s easy for armchair QBs to say they should have maintained their composure. It’s easy for armchair QBs to do all kinds of second-guessing. I’ve second-guessed this week, too. Wish I hadn’t been so hard on Kaepernick.

  8. Most of them had been trying to stay out of the fray until their patriotism was attacked on a national stage by someone who’d defended those carrying battle flags of enemy nations that killed thousands of Americans. It’s easy for armchair QBs to say they should have maintained their composure. It’s easy for armchair QBs to do all kinds of second-guessing. I’ve second-guessed this week–wish I hadn’t been so hard on Kaepernick.

  9. Browns renegades aren’t doing themselves, the team or their ’cause’ any favors by continuing to separate themselves from the fans. It’s not like the Browns need any help to suk.

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