The President of the United States lit a fire last week under an already ongoing argument about whether or not NFL players, or athletes in general, should be allowed to kneel during the national anthem.
Instead of simply tossing his opinion into the ring, the President went a step further and said players who kneel should be fired by their owners. While no players lost their jobs or contracts over kneeling or any other type of protest this past week, a relative of a player did.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Akeem Spence took a knee on Sunday, and claims that his father had a contracting job denied following his protest.
Got some awful news from my father a contractor deny giving him a job on doing a house because of my peaceful protest #smh
— Akeem spence (@AkeemSpence) September 28, 2017
Spence was one of eight Lions to kneel during the national anthem last weekend when Detroit hosted the Atlanta Falcons. After the game, the DT told ESPN the players who knelt decided to as a group in order to “stand up for what’s right, man.”
“No disrespect to the flag, no disrespect to any of the veterans or anything. It was just right is right, wrong is wrong, and what the guy said about us as NFL players, I just feel like that’s something that’s us, as NFL players, we have to stand up for that’s not what we are,” Spence said. “You know what I’m saying. We’re human beings. We give back to the community.
Despite his desire to not disrespect anyone, Spence did end up offending his father’s employer, costing his dad a job.
Unfortunately, many people took to Twitter to also bash Spence, his father, and claimed his father deserved to lose work because of Spence’s protest.
“We’re hard-working people who give back to the community. Our owners are the same way, you know, and they have the utmost respect for us and we have the utmost respect for our country, our flag and everything like that,” Spence told ESPN. So for our head guy to say something like that about our owners and what they should do, that’s something that I can’t, man, right is right.”