A day later, there were signs that some around the NFL already were ready to move on from their anthem-related gestures prodded by President Donald Trump ‘s profane broadside against such actions.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champion, said Monday — after a sleepless night — that he regretted that most of his team remained in the tunnel during “The Star-Spangled Banner” instead of appearing on the sideline before a 23-17 loss at Chicago on Sunday.
“Moving forward, we will be on the field,” Roethlisberger said. “What we do when we’re out there is yet to be determined.”
Other players and coaches indicated that their teams would discuss as a group how they want to proceed next weekend during the anthem.
But there seemed to be a sentiment that fewer people would participate.
“I would anticipate maybe this one was stronger this week than it’s ever been, because (Trump’s) comments affected people on such a different level,” Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “We haven’t talked about it further as a team, but my initial response would be it would settle more back down.”
More than 200 NFL players made some form of gesture at games on Sunday — many kneeling or sitting on the bench — in reaction to comments and tweets by Trump, who called on team owners to fire players who followed former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s lead by kneeling during the national anthem. Some owners locked arms with players.
Trump’s unprompted raising of this issue began with a speech Friday night in Alabama, where he told a crowd of supporters, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired, he’s fired.”
He then followed up with a series of inflammatory tweets…