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Atlanta Falcons Owner Says Players Must Stand for Anthem and…

…makes them ride with police to see what they go through

The Atlanta Falcons organization apparently wants everyone to know that it’s time to move on from protest to progress. And Falcons owner Arthur Blanks is also making his expectations for the upcoming season clear in a new video promoting the team’s 8-week effort to address social justice issues.

According to AtlantaFalcons.com, various players hosted or attended events to discuss solutions to the identified problems. These events reportedly ranged from ride-alongs with Atlanta Police Department officers to visiting local youth centers for conversations about social justice.

In a video released on Monday, Arthur Blank spoke about listening to player concerns about social justice issues, prison reform and tense relationships with law enforcement.

“This is not about players. It’s not about owners. It’s not about the NFL. It’s about the issues,” Blank said. “I’ve spent a great deal of time listening to our players. We’ve got about a dozen players who serve on a committee, if you will, that speak for all of the players – the entire team. And they have made it clear to us issues such as bail-bond reform, social justice and community involvement, law enforcement accountability, just a variety of issues that are very important to them.”

And Blank is making it clear that he’s committed to following the new NFL rules for conduct during the National Anthem.

“Players have that First Amendment right, we all have that First Amendment right to speak out and speak up on things as we see them,” Blank said in the video. “But we’ve asked them to, let’s convert that from protest to progress and that’s what I really want to measure ourselves. There’s more attention to issues that are legitimate and we want to honor the American flag, we want players to stand, we want them to be at attention, we want their hand over their heart, we expect all those things because all of our military people they deserve that because of the commitments they’re made to service in this country.

“We want to be able to focus on these issues and we’re all working together in that regard and if we turn this into a political kind of football, if you will, it’s not healthy because that becomes a real distraction to the work we’re trying to do.” [Read More…]

Source: The Grio