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The NFL protests are being diluted. Here’s how players can change that | Chiraag Bains

More players need to say unequivocally and consistently that these protests are about policing, criminal justice, and the value of black lives

NFL players who have been protesting racism and police violence are under attack. Earlier this month, vice-president Mike Pence made a show of leaving a Colts-49ers game when twenty San Francisco players kneeled during the national anthem. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has threatened to bench any player who does not stand. Some fans have booed or burned jerseys.

More important than the risk of being benched or booed, however, is the hijacking of the players’ message. Donald Trump has been the hijacker-in-chief. He has insisted that the protests disrespect the flag, the military, and “everything that we stand for.” Trump called for owners to fire any “son of a bitch” who takes a knee, and asked fans to boycott games. When the NFL declined this week to mandate standing, the president lashed out at the league on Twitter.

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