NFL demonstrations ratchet up with ‘black power’ gestures, hear coach Tony Dungy’s important message

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The Kansas City Chiefs did much the same as did the Seattle Seahawks at their season opener against the Miami Dolphins Sunday. Rather than kneeling or sitting during the national anthem, the team stood together in unity — with arms linked.

Four Dolphin team members, however, chose to kneel, which supermodel Kate Upton deemed unacceptable.

During his appearance on NBC’s Football Night in America, former NFL player and coach Tony Dungy was asked about the practice of demonstrating during the national anthem, which was started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“I really appreciated it,” Dungy said of the demonstrations across the NFL “When I coached, the National Anthem was very special to me. We practiced the National Anthem during training camp. We videotaped it. I showed the rookies how it should be done. We wanted it done professionally and with pride.”

Nonetheless, Dungy said he supports the players who choose to demonstrate, including the Dolphins players who kneeled on Sunday.

“In 1968 I was a 12-year-old kid,” Dungy explained. “Martin Luther King had just gotten shot. Tommy Smith and John Carlos at the ‘68 Olympics with the bowed heads. There were African-Americans all over the country at that time deciding if we should stand for the National Anthem. I talked to my dad about it. My dad was a teacher. He had enlisted in the service to fight in World War II. He did that even though he knew he wouldn’t be able to ride in the front of some buses, he wouldn’t be able to teach in some white schools. But he fought for our country. When I asked him what I said I should do, he said do what you think would make the situation better.”

Incidentally, the Chiefs won their game against the San Diego Chargers, 33-27.

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