NFL Commissioner: Only Six or Seven Players Are Protesting The National Anthem. Fact Check: False

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Oct 19, 2017 2:01 PM
NFL Commissioner: Only Six or Seven Players Are Protesting The National Anthem. Fact Check: False

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell held a presser yesterday about the organization’s decision to not punish players who take a knee during the national anthem. This has been a trainwreck coming for over a year. Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick fired off the first shot by sitting and then taking a knee during the Star-Spangled Banner last year. Then, President Trump went after the player who engaged in these antics. The league tried to take on Trump—and they lost. The lack of punishment is not the focal point; it’s when Goodell said,“Everyone should stand for the national anthem.” "We want our players to stand…it's an important part of our game,” he added. Yet, he went on to say that only six or seven players are engaging in the protests (via Bleacher Report) [emphasis mine]:

We believe our players should stand for the national anthem," Goodell said (via NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano).

Per Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, Goodell also said the national anthem is "an important part of our game" and there are only "six or seven players" taking part in the protests.

The NFL held its annual league meetings on Oct. 17-18 in New York. DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, and players were invited to attend a meeting to discuss protests taking place during the national anthem.

Uh, what? At least 150 players have taken a knee this season:

Nearly 150 NFL players defiantly took a knee during the national anthem at their games Sunday while hundreds of other grid stars locked arms with their coaches — and even some team owners — in protest of President Trump, who had ripped the league over the weekend [9/24].

Since this fiasco, ratings have dropped for the NFL, 34 percent are less likely to watch it, arrival for the league has dropped 13 percent, and third week ticket sales took a dive to the tune of almost 20 percent as well. It’s impacting the NFL’s bottom line. Period. And these public relations gymnastics the league is employing are what will keep fans inflicting punishment on the league.