national anthem

The National Anthem



hope comment teammate
league fire (2) take a knee
fiery protest national anthem
united field (3) kneel/knelt/knelt
patriot dramatic arm-in-arm
heart imagine acceptable
proud support double down
tweet hashtag locked arms
refuse traumatic locker room
mile remark disappointment
again back yard player after player
deeply right (4) win/won/won
fist stadium from coast to coast
score receive touchdown
put on precedent unprecedented
giant anthem as much as
allow blast (2) double down
hawk bothered quarterback
absent sideline essentially
rally former firestorm (2)
NFL respect National Football League
flag injustice disrespect
rating down (2) attendance
boring defend stay away
react race (2) has nothing to do
junior care (2) offensive (2)
abuse solidarity domestic (3)
brain discourse ranger (2)
injury overnight commissioner
titan imperfect illustrated






We hope you had a good weekend. It was a fiery one for the NFL (National Football League) after those Friday night comments from President Trump where he called on NFL owners to fire players who take a knee in protest during the national anthem.

And the players were united on the field, Sunday. More than a hundred knelt, and others stood arm-in-arm with their teammates. And some teams chose not to be on the field during the national anthem.

And then there was this dramatic moment: this former army ranger was the only member of the Pittsburg Steelers that went out on the field during the national anthem, hand over heart. And he stood there alone. He had served in Afghanistan.

Millions, millions taking to social media as you can imagine. These hashtags sparked 3.8 million tweets. Many of those supporting the protest; others against it.

The president doubling down, tweeting: “Standing with locked arms is good; kneeling is not acceptable.”

ABC’s Geo Benitez is outside the Washington Redskins stadium. Geo you were there in the locker room last night. What was the feeling in the locker room?

Geo Benitez: Hey good morning. Inside the locker room, there was anger and disappointment. You know, we are just miles from the White House. It is essentially the president’s back yard.

And player after player told me, again and again, that they are deeply American.

On Sunday night football, the Washington Redskins started the game with arms linked, some kneeling during the national anthem. The Oakland Raiders sitting down.

We went into the Redskins’ locker room where it seems players were talking more about what it means to be an American than their winning game.

Journalist: “What message do you have for the president?”
Vernon David, Tight End, Washington Redskins: “Help make things right.”
Washington Redskins Player Two: “It’s not acceptable. It’s not right.”

From coast to coast, even in London, players sending that message to the president from the football field, linking arms like Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, hundreds kneeling, some raising fists like Giants’ receiver Odem Beckle Junior after scoring a touchdown.

The players putting on an unprecedented display of solidarity for their league blasted this weekend by President Trump for allowing them to kneel in protest for social injustice.

Both the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks refusing to leave their locker rooms during the national anthem. The Pittsburg Steelers also absent from the sideline during the anthem — all except for one, former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva.

The firestorm began on Friday with Trump speaking at a rally in Alabama.

Donald Trump, President: “Wouldn’t you love to see one NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘get that son of a _ _ _ _ _ off the field now, out. He’s fired.

He’s fired!”

And doubling down on a series of tweets Sunday writing, “standing with locked arms is good; kneeling is not acceptable. NFL ratings and attendances are way down. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country.”

Michael Thomas, Free Safety, Miami Dolphins: “I’ve got a daughter. She’s going to have to live in this world. You know what I’m saying. I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. She can look at her dad, and he can make some changes.”

Trump defended his remarks on Sunday: “This has nothing to do with race or anything else. This has to do with respect for our country.”

His son Donald Jr. going after the NFL commissioner, tweeting: “If only Roger Goodell cared as much about domestic abuse and traumatic brain injury as he does about disrespecting America.”

And overnight, NFL commissioner Goodell told Sports Illustrated that the way the league reacted to the president’s remarks actually made him very proud and when he was asked if he was bothered by the president’s words, he said this: “No, we live in an imperfect society. Public discourse makes us strong.”

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1. There has been large media coverage and discussions regarding American football recently. True or false? Does it have to do with the game, strategy, tactics and the score? What is this all about?

2. All Americans and everyone on Twitter support the footballers. Is this right or wrong?

3. Have all footballers knelt or linked arms? Does it seem like there has been fighting and arguing among the football players?

4. President Donald Trump has been involved in the controversy. Is this correct or incorrect? Does he support the kneeling football players? What did he say? What did he tweet?

5. How do the footballers feel about this issue? Are they lighthearted about it, or are they serious or emotional?

6. “This has nothing to do with race or anything else.” What did Trump mean by this? Why did he say that?

7. Does the NFL commissioner think the divisiveness, arguments and conflict is bad for society?

8. The national anthem controversy is strictly social and political in nature, with no economic consequences. Yes or no?


A. What do you think about the kneeling NFL players during the national anthem? Is this appropriate or inappropriate?

B. Are there other ways to solve or deal with injustices?

C. The national anthem is played before sporting events in my country and everyone must rise. Yes or no?

D. Would anyone do what the American footballers did in your country’s sports stadium? What would be the reaction?

E. What will happen in the future?


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