Several Chiefs players join in protest by kneeling during anthem

Marc LaVoie
September 25, 2017 - 6:35 am

© Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports


The Kansas City Chiefs 24-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday was ugly, but not as ugly as the war of words surrounding NFL players and owners, and the president of the United States.

Several Chiefs players joined in a protest of racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem. Two days before, President Trump, at an event in Alabama, indicated he would like to see NFL owners fire players who show disrespect to the flag.

NFL owners criticized the president's rhetoric.

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt issued a statement of his own:

“We are blessed in the National Football League to work with an outstanding group of players who, through their thoughtfulness and generosity, are deeply engaged in their communities. I believe in honoring the American flag and supporting all of those whose sacrifices protect the many freedoms we have in this country, including the right to have differences of opinion. Sports have long been a unifying force - especially in challenging times - and hatred and division have no place in our game. As a nation, we face serious challenges, and I believe as Americans, each of us has a responsibility to engage one another with empathy and humility to gain better understanding of ways we can work together to solve these difficult issues.”

Hunt's statement was not enough to please Bob Fescoe, morning host on Kansas City's 610 Sports.

"I thought it was a very cowardly statement by Clark Hunt," Fescoe said. "He didn't take the side of his players like most of the owners did. I think Clark Hunt handled this situation the way he handles everything, with no side. I think he played it like a politician."

Fescoe said he would stand for the anthem, but he understands why the players are kneeling.

Among the Chiefs players who chose not to stand during the Star Spangled Banner was linebacker Justin Houston, who did not protest, but knelt on both knees to pray. Cornerback Marcus Peters took a knee and added a clenched fist in the air.

Elsewhere in the NFL, the entire Pittsburgh Steelers football team stayed in the locker room during the Star Spangled Banner, except for one. Offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, a West Point graduate and Army veteran, stood alone, hand on his heart. 

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