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Fox News shames Black and white NFL players who prayed for justice before game

Following a week when Donald Trump embraced white supremacists, the national anthem protest movement within the NFL took a dramatic turn Monday night. And Fox News is not happy about the latest twist in the unfolding cultural war. Prior to their pre-season game with New York Giants, 12 members of the Cleveland Browns knelt during […]

By Eric Boehlert - August 22, 2017
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Members of the Cleveland Browns kneel during the national anthem
Members of the Cleveland Browns kneel during the national anthem

Prior to their pre-season game with New York Giants, 12 members of the Cleveland Browns knelt during the national anthem. Colin Kaepernick sparked the NFL movement last season when he refused to stand for the pre-game tradition to protest police violence and racial inequality in the U.S.

Today, Kaepernick does not have a job in the NFL.

What was different about Monday night was that it was by far the largest pre-game protest to date, suggesting the political movement is gaining momentum. It included the first white NFL player to participate. And the players formed a prayer circle during the national anthem.

Still, Fox News hated it, calling the pre-game prayer a “new low” for the league.

FOX NEWS: The NFL’s national anthem protest hitting a new low. Twelve Cleveland Browns players kneeling in a prayer circle during the anthem before their pre-season game against the Giants. It is the largest protest yet in the league. Just last week, the head coach said he hoped this would not happen. The Browns saying overnight the team has profound respect for the anthem but supports the freedom of personal expression.

That’s right, Fox News is now denouncing public prayer. More conservatives will likely find themselves twisted into pretzels as they rush to condemn the NFL trend of political expression that revolves around prayer.

It’s a far cry from the days when Fox celebrated and praised former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow for praying on the field.

In a team statement, the Browns stressed it respects “the great liberties afforded by our country, including the freedom of personal expression.”

Seth DeValve, the white Browns player who participated, explained that he believes the U.S. is “the greatest country in the world,” despite issues of inequality.

“The issue is that it doesn’t provide equal opportunity to everybody, and I wanted to support my African-American teammates today who wanted to take a knee,” he said. “We wanted to draw attention to the fact that there’s things in this country that still need to change.”

Fox News has been obsessed with condemning the NFL movement of racial equality. In fact, while the Browns game was unfolding Monday night, Fox Sports 1 host Jason Whitlock appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show to denounce the “stupidity” of the anthem protests.

Last week, Fox News’ Todd Starnes condemned the NFL for not “having the guts” to bench players who took a knee during the national anthem, which he dubbed an “anti-American activity.”

Moving forward, it’s going to be much harder for right-wing zealots on Fox News to condemn pre-game prayer as an “anti-American activity.”


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