Wednesday, the NFL rolled out a new policy for the National Anthem. The policy stated players would not be required to be on the field for the anthem, but if they were on the field and they took a knee, their team would be fined. The NFL Players' Association was clearly unhappy with the new policy and stated they had not been consulted.
Philadelphia's Malcolm Jenkins said, in response to the policy, "I will not let it silence me." But U.S. President Donald Trump, who called for fans to boycott the league in the fall, said players who kneel "shouldn't be in the country."
The policy has been the talk of the sports world since it was announced. Thursday afternoon, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr—who's always willing to share his political opinions—criticized the measure.
"Basically trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism, nationalism, scaring people, it's idiotic, but that's how the NFL is in the business," Kerr said. "I'm proud to be in a league that understands patriotism in America is about free speech, about peacefully protesting."
I think our leadership in the NBA understands that when the NFL players were kneeling, they were kneeling to protest police brutality, to protest racial inequality, they weren't disrespecting the flag or military, but our president decided to make it about that, the NFL followed suit, pandered to their fan base, that created this hysteria. It's kind of what's wrong with our country right now: people in high places are trying to dive us, divide loyalties, make this about the flag as if the flag is something is other than what it is.
Check out Kerr's full comments below.
Steve Kerr criticized the NFL for its national anthem policy pic.twitter.com/eaCXC5WhCj— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) May 24, 2018
Kerr and the Warriors are currently tied with Houston, 2-2. Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals is slated for Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on TNT.