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Stephen A. Smith Points Out NFL’s Paid Patriotism Problem

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Late last month, as the country was only just becoming consumed by Colin Kaepernick, Tom E. Curran of Comcast Sportsnet New England reported that, actually, NFL players did not typically stand for the national anthem until 2009. Somehow this escaped many of us until, uh, Stephen A. Smith highlighted it this morning on First Take.

Responding to a tip from one of his “boys,” Smith brought up the fact that until 2009—eight years and a new Presidential administration after 9/11—players weren’t on the field for the national anthem and instead generally remained in the locker room. According to Smith’s boy (and the researcher at ESPN who checked it), the switch happened “because it was seen as a marketing…….


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