NFL players protesting the national anthem has been a huge topic of conversation ever since Colin Kaepernick ignited it last season.
But that conversation could be nearing its end.
Instances of anthem protests were tough to come by during Week 1, though there certainly were a few. But the general consensus around the league is that the “period of mass anthem protests is likely over,” according to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, who spoke to a handful of current and former players.
“The anthem protests are basically dead,” one veteran player told Freeman.
But why? Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett’s recent run-in with Las Vegas police showed that many in the league remain passionate about social injustice.
The answer, according to Freeman, is complacency.
“While a large faction of older players wants to organize the anthem protests so they last through the season,” Freeman wrote, “they are meeting great resistance from younger players who don’t seem to care.”
This isn’t altogether surprising, as many young players understandably just want to focus on football. Still, it’s fair to wonder whether the perceived blackballing of Kaepernick has played a role in the decline in anthem protests.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports Images