Last week, the NFL participated in a mass protest of the national anthem which was triggered by comments by President Trump. As this past weekends games approached, many wondered if the kneeling protests would continue on such a large scale. For one team, the Detroit Lions, the owner made it clear she wanted her players to stand, but instead of threatening termination or suspension, she offered compromise.
Lions owner Martha Ford asked her players not to kneel during the national anthem before the team's game against the Vikings on Sunday. In exchange for not kneeling, Ford told players she would donate money to causes they care about in the community.
Lions running back Ameer Abdullah, who knelt during the anthem last week, spoke to the Detroit Free Press about the issue. “As a team, we came together, talked to Mrs. Ford, the owners, and we understand the issues for the most part, generally," said Abdullah. "Me personally, I definitely want to be an aid in growing the social awareness in this country, that it is a race problem in this country.
Before this past Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings, only two Lions' players took a knee, linebackers Steve Longa and Jalen Reeves-Maybin. Longa's father was killed in a car accident in the last week, and he kept his head down in prayer throughout the anthem.
Those couple guys got some private stuff going on in their lives so that’s more than likely what it was," defensive end Cornelius Washington told the Free Press.
As for the game results, Lions won 14-7 to take their record to 3-1.