The owner of the Detroit Lions asked her team’s players not to kneel for the national anthem during their most recent game, according to The Detroit Free Press.
The Free Press on Sunday reported that Martha Ford made the request before the team’s National Football League (NFL) contest with the Minnesota Vikings that afternoon.
Ford said last week that she would be open to donating both her money and her name to community causes supported by the Lions’ roster members.
The NFL owner’s offer was in exchange for the Lions finding an alternative way to protest racial injustices across America.
Ford was ultimately not on the sideline for “The Star-Spangled Banner” during last Sunday’s game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The Lions emerged victorious 14-7 after two of the team’s players, linebackers Steve Longa and Jalen Reeves-Maybin, sank to one knee during the pregame song.
Some Twitter users on Tuesday commented the Lions’ handling of the anthem before last weekend’s contest.
Ford previously linked arms with Lions players, coach Jim Caldwell and her three daughters during the team’s Week 3 matchup at Ford Field in Detroit.
Eight players kneeled during the song ahead of that tilt, which the Atlanta Falcons eventually won 30-26.
Scores of NFL coaches, executives and players knelt during the national anthem last month after President Trump derided the practice.
Trump last month urged the NFL to fire players who perform the gesture, and he has since described it as “disgraceful.”
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest America’s racial injustice.
Lions defensive end Cornelius Washington on Sunday said Ford’s request will prove worthwhile if it helps the team address the issues facing their community.
“She just asked us not to take the knee and she basically told us – not basically, she told us she would back and support financially as well as put her name on whatever issues that we wanted to try to attack,” he said.
“But as far as the kneeling, she just I guess felt like there were better ways to get the point across,” Washington added.
“And as this point, people know what we’re kneeling for so now trying to take that next step in the plan of action to foster change is, that’s the next part and that’s the part she’s willing to get behind.”
We asked veterans how they really feel about the NFL anthem protests.