The NFL Plays a Protest-Free Football Game on Thursday Night

AP Beck Diefenbach
AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach

The NFL had some big moments on Thursday night, Cam Newton issued an apology in response to one of the worst, most manufactured controversies in the history of the NFL. Moreover, another thing happened, there were no protests during the anthem.

Now, the game between the Patriots and Buccaneers was still a slop-fest with dropped passes, overthrown balls, badly missed field goals, and penalties all over the place. So the NFL still has the problem of not being good at playing football. However, on the flip-side, they showed up and played football. Without any of the drama, theatrics, or the narcissistic fashion show the league has become.

Granted, the two teams that played on Thursday night, the Bucs and the Patriots, have never had a ton of protesters on either side. Especially the Patriots, who didn’t have any protesters until two weeks ago when the defending champs decided to protest President Trump. Had Thursday night featured the Seahawks and the Raiders, two teams with a lot of protesters, the anthem would have looked much different.

Yet it was probably the closest thing to a normal primetime game, that the league has seen in a very long time. While the Michael Bennett’s of the world will likely continue their protests until the bitter end. Watching, the NFL Thursday night, as well as the tremendous drop off in protests from last week. One gets the impression that the vast majority of the NFL might just be ready to respect the flag, and play some football.

And that couldn’t come a moment too soon.



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