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O n Tuesday, the National Football League announced a new policy to prevent players from protesting during the national anthem.

Teams will now be fined if players kneel on the field during the anthem and any player who refuses to stand will be allowed to remain in the locker room. The decision comes after Colin Kaepernick began kneeling Smart black athletes dating during the Star-Spangled Banner in protest of police brutality against black Americans.

While the demonstrations were met with some backlash, it became a true debacle when Donald Trump began tweeting that the players were disrespecting the flag and veterans by kneeling.

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In October ofVice-President Mike Pence pulled a childish publicity stunt when he attended an NFL game, Smart black athletes dating to walk out moments later when players chose to kneel during the anthem.

The criticisms surrounding the protests were most frustrating because Trump and others continue to push the false narrative that players were protesting the flag, armed forces or the anthem itself.

Of course, facts matter little these days and theirs was a more convenient narrative, one that was buoyed by, and appealed to, racists. Commissioner Roger Goodell even admitted as much in a statement saying: This is not and was never the case.

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The cowardice of Roger Goodell is nothing new, but this capitulation to a petulant president and ignorant vitriol from fans and critics is particularly disgraceful. They skimp out on charities. They continue to turn a blind eye to a disease that is killing its employees.

And they care little for the many women who have been victims of domestic violence at the hand of their players, often carrying out flimsy punishments if they bother to address the incidents at all. DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the organization, also tweeted: These athletes are the elite of the elite in "Smart black athletes dating" sport.

They are superstars, beloved by fans with franchises and millions of dollars in advertising and marketing built around them.

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