Pittsburgh Steelers ride out National Anthem in the locker room

**Written by Doug Powers

Things have gotten so ridiculous it seems the belief is now that if enough knees are taken during the National Anthem that Hillary Clinton will become president and Trump will be out of office. For one team though, none of it will take place on the field. Instead of putting some players on the spot when it comes to taking a knee (or not) in public, the Pittsburgh Steelers moved it all to the locker room:

As part of a wave of protests throughout the NFL in the wake of President Donald Trump’s NFL-related comments, the Steelers will not be on the field for the playing of the national anthem before their game against the Bears on Sunday.

Coach Mike Tomlin told CBS his team would remain in the locker room for the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

“These are very divisive times for our country,” Tomlin said. “For us, as a football team, it’s about us remaining solid. We are not gonna be divided by anything said by anyone. That’s the thing that I posted to our guys. I said, ‘If you feel the need to do anything, I’m going to be supportive of that. As Americans, you have that right.’ But whatever we do, we’re gonna do 100 percent, we’re gonna do together. We’re not gonna let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda. This collection of men, we’re chasing something here in 2017, and we’re not gonna play politics with football players, with football coaches.

“100 percent”? What if a player breaks with the group, heads out onto the field and stands for the Anthem? Maybe this is how it all ends: Eventually, the controversial players won’t be the ones who kneel during the National Anthem, but the ones who don’t, and since it appears many NFL players love to be controversial, perhaps they’ll join in and the whole thing will come full circle. Or maybe a big ratings & revenue decline will make ownership decide that “bake the cake” isn’t only for bakers.

By the way, I think most people remember that “take a knee” was started by a currently out-of-a-job quarterback who wore “pig cop” socks and shirts sporting pictures of both Che Guevara and Castro. Players kneeling aren’t harming Trump at all — maybe quite the opposite.

**Written by Doug Powers

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