BOSTON (CBS) — Just one week after many members of the Patriots kneeled during the national anthem, a new report indicates that they will all stand together as a team next time out.
A league source told CSNNE’s Gary Tanguay on Tuesday that all Patriots players will stand during the national anthem before next Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Many stood and interlocked their arms during the anthem last Sunday before the game against the Texans, while a large portion kneeled.
Teams across the league had similar demonstrations last Sunday, which were mostly a response to controversial comments made by President Donald Trump about NFL players who sit or kneel during the national anthem. The president described such players as ‘sons of bitches’ during a rally in Alabama last Friday, also declaring that they should be fired for doing so.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft was among many executives across the league to respond to Trump’s comments, saying he was “deeply disappointed” by his remarks. Quarterback Tom Brady also said he “disagrees” with what Trump said, supporting his teammates’ right to choose what to do during the anthem. Both Kraft and Brady stood during the anthem last Sunday, while Brady locked arms with Patriots receiver Phillip Dorsett.
The decision of many players to kneel during the national anthem in Foxboro drew a wide range of reactions, some negative. Former Patriots tackle Matt Light said he felt “ashamed” to be a Patriot for the first time in his life. Fans appeared split on the issue of players protesting the anthem.
If the Patriots do end up standing as a collective group during the national anthem next Sunday, it will send the message of unity that the players were trying to send last weekend.