FILE PHOTO: November 5, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold (57) and strong safety Eric Reid (35) kneel during the national anthem before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
November 8, 2017
(Reuters) – The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution calling on players to honor the Veterans Day Moment of Silence Act during Sunday’s games.
The act, unanimously passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by former President Barack Obama on Oct. 7, 2016, calls for all Americans to observe a two-minute moment of silence on Veterans Day.
Veterans Day this year falls on Saturday, Nov. 11, with a slate of 12 NFL games to be played on Sunday.
NFL players are calling on everyone in the league to observe this moment of silence together before the NFL games this weekend.
The NFLPA did not immediately return calls to clarify whether the resolution included players standing to observe the moment of silence or if they would continue to take a knee in what has been a season-long protest over racial injustice that has polarized Americans.
Each week a number of NFL players have taken to kneeling during the national anthem to protest the killing by police of unarmed black men and boys across the United States, as well as racial disparities in the criminal justice system. More than half of all NFL players are black.
The protests began in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick, then a San Francisco 49ers quarterback, began sitting and later kneeling during the anthem to call attention to these issues.
The sight of players kneeling has infuriated President Donald Trump, who has threatened to use tax laws to penalize NFL team owners for not forcing players to stand.
He also escalated the controversy in September when he suggested owners should fire any “son of a bitch” who refused to stand for the anthem.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, editing by G Crosse)