It seems that perhaps some of these NFL players are learning their lesson against disrespecting our Nation’s anthem. During two previous games, The Vikings vs the Lions and the Chargers vs the Cowboys, it seems that none of the players knelt.
Then, of course, we have the Thanksgiving game and New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon, who was the only player who knelt during the anthem.
Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon kneels on Thanksgiving night. Vernon's father is a retired police officer, and he's been kneeling for the anthem since Trump's comments in September. pic.twitter.com/zxrepNbg1W
— J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) November 24, 2017
Vernon’s father, whose father is a was a Miami police officer, is one of the few remaining players who are continuing to protest in this manner.
“What it would take for me to stand is if people can understand what the whole message is behind it,” Vernon told Newsday recently on why he continues to protest. “That would actually help a whole lot, but everybody doesn’t see things that way and tries to distort what the message was from the beginning, which is basically social injustice on African-Americans and police brutality.”
Vernon said he continues to be criticized for not standing but that he tries to ignore most of it.
“I get [criticism] all the time,” he said. “If it was anything that actually bothered me, I would care. There’s stuff that some people say that comes out of their mouth that is just ignorant and uneducated, so I just keep it moving and I don’t really address anything anybody has to say. If they can’t come at me on something intellectual, then I don’t have a response for you.”
He also isn’t concerned by the recent television ratings decline, at least some of which has been attributed to fans being turned off by the anthem protests.
“At the end of the day, there’s a First Amendment right as an American citizen,” Vernon said. “You have a right to protest peacefully. Protests aren’t supposed to be comfortable. Some people aren’t going to understand.”