Is it karma, or is it just a case of some social justice warrior players who have lost their focus, and caused their teams to sit out while other teams who focused on the game will be playing the NFL playoffs?  Whatever the case may be, the kneeling NFL’ers won’t have to worry about taking a knee for our national anthem in any of the upcoming playoff games.

NBC plans to televise any players who refuse to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl, but there may be nothing to show.

Members of the San Francisco 49ers kneel and stand during the playing of the National Anthem before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. Kneeling are (L-R) strong safety Eric Reid (35), wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (11) and defensive back Adrian Colbert (38). (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

It appears that NFL players are no longer taking a knee during the national anthem, namely because none of the teams with still-active protesters has qualified for the postseason.

Sports psychologist John F. Murray emphasized that it would be impossible to quantify the impact on individual teams but said it stands to reason that the high-profile protests could have disrupted locker-room unity.

“As a sports psychologist, if my mission is to help a team play better, I see it as a distraction,” said Mr. Murray, who is based in Palm Beach, Florida, and has worked with NFL players.

He said teams should expect problems if players perceive that their teammates are “putting a social agenda above the mission” of winning games.

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“I work with athletes, and I’m very sensitive to the impact of even a slight disruption in team unity,” said Mr. Murray. “I think that would certainly be a possibility. If you’ve got some people who are strongly against that and some people who aren’t, you’re putting that issue in the way of going out there and performing well.”

By the end of the regular season, only five teams featured at least one player regularly sitting or kneeling on the sidelines for the anthem: the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers, the Miami Dolphins, the New York Giants and the Oakland Raiders.
None of those franchises made the playoffs, even though four of the five did so in the previous season, leading to speculation about whether the take-a-knee protests wound up dragging down team performance along with TV ratings.

“By their actions, the kneelers brought controversy into the locker rooms, and this kind of distraction is always going to be detrimental to team cohesiveness,” said Robert Kuykendall, a spokesman for the conservative corporate watchdog 2ndVote.

For entire story: The Washington Times


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