Preston: It's time for NFL, players to move on from anthem controversy, but never forget the message

I am glad the NFL has adopted a policy concerning players and league personnel not standing and showing respect for the flag and national anthem.

The protests by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other players during the past two seasons — kneeling during the nation anthem — has drawn awareness to a cause and a major problem in America, but it’s time to move on.

It will be interesting to see if the players honor the policy. Players make a lot of money and some of these fines might not be enough to stop the protests. It’s not always about money, but principles. I would not have done what Kaepernick did, but I admire him for his willingness to take a courageous stand.

The kneeling episodes would have blown over but it drew criticism from President Trump in an effort to incite his base. He still doesn’t get it.

I hope the message of Kaepernick and the players doesn’t get lost. The kneeling wasn’t in protest of the national anthem nor was it because the players were unpatriotic. It was about the violence in this country from policemen and other law officials toward African-Americans and other minorities.

Now that the league has adopted the policy it’s time to let Kaepernick back in the NFL. He certainly is better than 50 to 60 percent of the current backups quarterbacks on NFL rosters.

mike.preston@baltimoresun.com

twitter.com/MikePrestonSun

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