The NFL says solidarity to the flag is mandatory, but Common thinks it’s about dollars and cents.
TMZ spoke to the rapper, who says the new NFL anthem policy robs players of their freedom of speech, which is not what America is supposed to be about.
The NFL has issued a policy making it obligatory for players to stand during the national anthem, or be fined by the league. Naturally, Donald Trump has been vocal about his support of the said policy, saying the NFL owners are doing the “right thing,” and that those who don’t stand “shouldn’t be in the country.”
“I just think … telling people what they should do during a ceremony is not really what the country is based on,” said Common. “Freedom of speech, freedom to be who you are … This country is supposed to be about us being independent and being able to be who we are. Especially in a ceremony where people aren’t trying to disrespect anything.”
“This is not about military or the flag, he has respect for that,” Common said of Colin Kaepernick’s demonstration. “It’s about black men and women being shot down in the streets.” We still see it happening. The fact that… the NFL is doing that, that’s a business move for them.”
Ultimately, Common says the NFL is a business and will, naturally, make executive decisions if they need to. In this case, kneeling was hurting the bottom line.
In terms of how the NFL could benefit, the rapper posed some possible solutions. One of them being that the league could use its platform (and money) to help raise awareness about issues that plague the black community, such as police brutality.
Should NFL players be forced to stand in something they don’t believe in? Tell us your thoughts.