This past weekend we saw the political landscape interact with the most lucrative sport on the planet. The attention has turned to NFL players in the wake of President Trump's comments directed at those who protest during the national anthem by taking a knee.
What transpired across the league on Sunday transcended to different groups of people. Those who have no interest in sports most certainly heard about what materialized. Because of that, we could possibly see it spill into other leagues. In just a few weeks the NBA season begins, will the backlash continue? What implications will this have on the locker rooms in terms of divisiveness?
New England Patriots Chairman & CEO Robert Kraft announced his displeasure with the President's comments. Kraft, who has previously called President Trump a very good friend, expressed how honored he is to be associated with the players of the league who make such colossal contributions to the community. Kraft said he is "deeply disappointed" in the president's comments.
The New York Jets acting owner Christopher Johnson released a statement during the game on Sunday. In it he said; "It was an honor and a privilege to stand arm in arm unified with our players during today's National Anthem".
The Jets owner Woody Johnson is the Trump administration's ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Each team took their own liberties in how they chose to respond to the comments made by the president.
At Soldier Field in Chicago, the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in the locker room. Head coach Mike Tomlin said; "We're not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, but to remove ourselves from the circumstance."
Several Steelers coaches chose to stand on the sideline during the anthem, while former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva stood near the team's tunnel on the field. The veteran offensive tackle served 3 tours in Afghanistan.