One of the biggest stories in the NFL this season has had absolutely nothing to do with football. In fact, it has had nothing to do with the game at all, but instead, about something that has been happening just before and during the national anthem.
Last season, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting by taking a knee during the playing/singing of the national anthem. Throughout the remainder of the season, a number of other players joined Kaepernick in protest by either kneeling or sitting.
But following a speech by President Donald Trump on Sept. 22, 2017, where he called out players who have chosen to not to stand for the anthem, everything has blown up to a whole new level.
“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!’” Trump said.
Since that comment by Trump, more and more players have refused to stand for the anthem and entire teams have shown unity by taking a knee prior to and then locking arms and standing during the anthem.
One Detroit Lions player who has been kneeling for the anthem is rookie linebacker, Jalen Reeves-Maybin.
Lions players kneeling Cornelius Washington, A'Shawn Robinson, Akeem Spence, Jeremiah Ledbetter, Steve Longa, Ameer Abdullah, Whitehead, JRM
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 24, 2017
On Wednesday, Reeves-Maybin must have been browsing his Twitter feed when he came across a tweet from Oct. 8 which suggested that he “better stand up for the flag and respect what his owner said.”
Reeves-Maybin better stand up for the flag and respect what his owner said.. don’t have to remind him he’s a rookie on top of everything…
— Alex Braunstein (@Lion9King) October 8, 2017
Rather than just ignoring the tweet, the Lions rookie decided to fire back at in a classy way.
“PSA I don’t have an owner. I’m not a pet dog.” Reeves-Maybin tweeted in response.
PSA I don’t have an owner. I’m not a pet dog. https://t.co/ziZwvW1jOg
— Jalen Reeves-Maybin (@ReevesMaybin) October 19, 2017
Since he began kneeling for the Anthem, Reeves-Maybin has said he has received quite a bit of backlash from fans, including someone saying they hope he gets CTE.
“People saying, ‘I hope you get CTE.’ Or, ‘I hope you can’t play with your kids when you’re done playing (in the NFL),’” Reeves-Maybin said.
“I don’t really care. Most of the time I just kind of laugh at it,” he added. “I’m pretty sure the people writing it have way more anger or put way more energy into something the claim they don’t even want to put energy into. I think when you get those kinds of things it makes you really realize how far away you are from what it really should be like.”