NFL Season Begins With Player Protests As Opening Sees Low Ratings, Fan Backlash

The National Football League season got fully underway on Sunday, with some players kneeling and raising fists in protest over racial injustice while others stayed off the field for the “Star-Spangled Banner,” America’s national anthem.

In the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons, players dropped to one knee just after the opening kickoff. Minnesota Vikings players locked arms a half-hour before their game against the Green Bay Packers as “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is being called the Black anthem, was played. In Washington, D.C., members of the Philadelphia Eagles stayed in the locker room during the national anthem.

Some fans didn’t like politics mixing with their Sunday sports. “I think the NFL is taking a big misstep in making their product not about the game of football and making it about the political agendas of some of its players,” Packers fan Andy Duffrin of Marinette, Wisconsin, told the Green Bay Press Gazette. “The proof is in the pudding and the pudding they are about to serve up is not going to taste very good to a lot of loyal fans.”

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