It’s highly likely we’re going to see widespread protests during the national anthem once the 2020 NFL season starts in September. Players of all walks of life are speaking out against racial injustice and police brutality following the murder of George Floyd.
How widespread will NFL protests be this fall?
We’re not 100% sure, but we do know one player that has already indicated he’s going to kneel. That comes in the form of Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. The former No. 1 overall pick responded to a fan on Instagram, noting that he will absolutely protest during the anthem this season.
As public sentiment changes in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement and protests themselves, the NFL has also changed course. The league noted last week that it supports the protests while admitting that it mishandled the Colin Kaepernick-led national anthem protests.
Here’s more on NFL protests and news surrounding them
In addition to changing its policy, the NFL has committed to donating $250 million over the next decade to fight “systemic” racism in the United States. A big-time owner indicated earlier on Saturday that he will support his players protesting during the anthem.
If the 2020 NFL season does indeed start on time in September, there’s every reason to believe that backdrop will include mass national anthem protests. This is unlike back in 2016. In addition to black players publicly speaking out, Caucasian athletes have as well. Expect a united front once the fall comes calling.
Protests around the sports world
It’s not just on the gridiron. We’ve seen NASCAR change its policy, banning Confederate flags at events. One of the sport’s biggest stars protested ahead of a race earlier this week. An MMA fighter also protested ahead of a bout in UFC 250. Meanwhile, NBA stars are speaking up about the issues of the day.
It’s going to be a common theme around the entire sports world until the changes that’s needed are enacted at a local, state and federal level.