Bears chairman: Players should stand, but we should “listen to each other”

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Bears Chairman George McCaskey stuck to the party line, saying he agreed with the NFL’s policy that all players on the field should stand for the national anthem.

But he also clearly has been listening to the concerns of players (and/or reading Malcolm Jenkins‘ signs) that the original intent of players who took a knee during the anthem have been misconstrued.

“The first players to take a knee during the national anthem did so to bring attention to two issues — police misconduct and social inequality,” McCaskey said, via J.J. Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago. “There are legitimate issues that deserve discussion and action. As a country, we can do better. It’s part of the founding fathers’ charge to us to form a more perfect union. Commissioner [Roger] Goodell said it very well, and it bears repeating — it was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.

“The players’ actions were characterized by some and perceived by some as disrespectful to the flag, our country and our military, and what should be a unifying moment for our communities and our country has become in some instances another source of divisiveness.”

That divisiveness might not have been created by President Donald Trump, but he was certainly willing to stoke the flames for political advantage. When the NFL tried to appease him with their recent change, it backfired terribly, leaving the teams to clean up their own mess. But McCaskey denied that Trump influenced the policy.

“What the President was doing or not doing, or thinking or not thinking, or saying and not thinking didn’t really impact our support of this,” he said.

(Sure, and the Eagles just decided they’d rather practice an extra day this week.)

McCaskey said he’s met with team president Ted Phillips and Bears union rep Sam Acho about the matter, and they’ve still discussing potential discipline (or whether they’d discipline) for violating the policy.

“I think we continue the dialogue,” McCaskey said, “and listen to each other.”

While it’s a little late now, it’s at least a good start.

8 responses to “Bears chairman: Players should stand, but we should “listen to each other”

  1. Trump certainly didn’t help but the main reason for this vote was because these rich morons were losing out on some money. It has nothing to do with being patriotic, because if they were that patriotic they wouldn’t be looking for every single tax cut and loop hole.

  2. With media falling all over each other to report the next big news on the anthem protest controversy, the fans grow ever more weary of having to read/watch/see it. Why stop now before the final revolt happens? Keep going.

  3. It would be interesting to know how the players who stand for the anthem feel about those who don’t.

  4. George, with all due respect, what do you know about “listening”? Because you and your family sure as hell haven’t listened to fans pining for a Lombardi Trophy since ’85.

  5. The National Anthem is/has been played for one reason and one reason only: Money.
    It happened way back in the World Series during WWI (?) when they noticed that more fans came to the games when they had announced that the Anthem would be played.

    This began the tradition.

    And for all of those that are upset to the point of not watching because of the part that you don’t watch anyway; you are in the minority.
    When you factor in that attendance was down 9%, that means that 91% of people either didn’t care about the protests or didn’t care enough to stop watching/attending the games.

    But as briangraydon said, The NFL wants that 9% back, sure. But not because they care about whether it is wrong or right to protest during the National Anthem, but because they just want as much money as possible. If more people stop watching due their new rule stating you must stand on the field, you can bet that they are going to reverse that rule.

  6. The national anthem and all the phony patriotism is a hoax, perpetrated by your overlords, who want you to be sheep while they collect the spoils of the sheep.

    Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. It’s as true as when Samuel Johnson uttered those words centuries ago.

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