Even on Thanksgiving the NFL couldn't respect the flag. One NFL player kneeled during the anthem on Thanksgiving: New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon.
On Thursday night the New York Giants played the Washington Redskins. Up to this point in the day, no other NFL players had decided to demonstrate during the national anthem. Even during this anthem, Olivier Vernon was the only player to demonstrate during the anthem.
One NFL Player Kneeled: Olivier Vernon
Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon kneels on Thanksgiving night. Vernon's father is a retired police officer, and he's been kneeling for the anthem since Trump's comments in September. pic.twitter.com/zxrepNbg1W
— j.d. durkin 🌱 (@jd_durkin) November 24, 2017
Hats off to the players involved in the two previous games in the day for doing what should be taken for granted: respecting the flag. The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Chargers took down the Dallas Cowboys.
Ever since September, Vernon has been protesting the national anthem. This started up directly after President Trump made remarks about anyone who protests the anthem "should be fired." Following those comments many other NFL players joined in the protests. Since then the number of players who protest has decreased greatly.
Vernon's father just so happens to be a Miami police officer who has been on the force for 25 years. He spoke to Newsday about why he continues the protest.
“What it would take for me to stand is if people can understand what the whole message is behind it. That would actually help a whole lot, but everybody doesn’t see things that way and tries to distort what the message was from the beginning, which is basically social injustice on African-Americans and police brutality.”
Despite falling ratings and the reaction it gets, a few players continue to kneel and protest the national anthem.