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NFL Bans National Anthem Protests on Same Day Video of Police Tasering of NBA Player Is Released

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 5/24/18

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The National Football League has announced it will fine teams if players refuse to stand for the national anthem before games. But under the new rules adopted by the league's 32 owners, players will be allowed to stay in the locker room during the anthem. Over the past two seasons, dozens of players have knelt during the anthem to protest police shootings of unarmed black men. The on-field protests began in August 2016 when quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem to protest racism and police brutality. President Trump has praised the NFL's new rule, saying the league is "doing the right thing."

Just hours after the NFL announcement, the sports world was jolted by the release of a video showing police officers in Milwaukee tasering NBA player Sterling Brown, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks. Brown, who is African-American, was approached by police after he parked his car across two handicap spaces in front of a Walgreens. The body cam footage confirms Brown was not "combative," as police initially claimed, in a dispute over the parking violation. In a statement, Brown said, "Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community. Being a voice and a face for people who won't be heard and don't have the same platform as I have is a responsibility I take seriously."

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In Washington, D.C., we speak with Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation magazine and host of "Edge of Sports." His new piece is titled "The Real Reason NFL Owners Want to Punish Players for Protesting During the Anthem."

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

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NERMEEN SHAIKH: The National Football League has announced it will fine teams if players refuse to stand for the national anthem before games. But under the new rules adopted by the league's 32 owners, players will be allowed to stay in the locker room during the anthem. Over the past two seasons, dozens of players have knelt during the anthem to protest police shootings of unarmed black men.

The on-field protests began in August 2016 when quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem to protest racism and police brutality. At the time, Kaepernick said, quote, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." The protests would eventually cost Kaepernick his job -- he has essentially been blacklisted from the league -- but the protests spread throughout the NFL. The protests also attracted the attention of President Trump, who repeatedly attacked the protesting players.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, "Get that son of a b*tch off the field right now! Out! He's fired. He's fired!"? Wouldn't you love it?

AMY GOODMAN: President Trump has praised the NFL's new rule, saying the league is, quote, "doing the right thing."

Meanwhile, filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted, "Oh NFL! I love you! What better time to curtail free speech than during the National Anthem! USA! USA!! USA!!! Back in the USSA!!"

Just hours after the NFL announcement, the sports world was jolted by the release of a video showing police officers in Milwaukee tasering NBA player Sterling Brown, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks. Brown, who's African-American, was approached by police after he parked his car across two handicap spaces in front of a Walgreens. The body cam footage confirms Brown was not "combative," as the police initially claimed, in a dispute over the parking violation. The video included the moment when officers tased him.

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POLICE OFFICER: Taser! Taser! Taser!

STERLING BROWN: [moaning]

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Sterling Brown was cited for a parking violation but not charged following his arrest. In a statement, Sterling Brown said, quote, "Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community. Being a voice and a face for people who won't be heard and don't have the same platform as I have is a responsibility I take seriously. I am speaking for Dontre Hamilton of Milwaukee, Laquan McDonald of Chicago, Stephon Clark of Sacramento, Eric Garner of New York, and the list goes on. These people aren't able to speak anymore because of unjust actions by those who are supposed to 'serve and protect' the people."

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