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It’s official: The NFL’s new national anthem policy did not make things better. It made things worse.
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the league’s new anthem policy Carey Price Jersey , he hoped to placate those on the right, who have insisted that players should stand, while not alienating those on the left by allowing players to remain in the locker room if they didn’t want to stand on the field while the anthem played. But Goodell took immediate criticism from the left for seeming to turn his back on players who wanted to make a political statement.
And as for placating those on the right, any illusions about that were destroyed this morning by Representative Pete King, a Republican from New York, who took to Twitter to blast Jets CEO Christopher Johnson, who said that he wouldn’t support any discipline for any Jets players who chose not to stand for the anthem.
“Disgraceful that Jets owner will pay fines for players who kneel for National Anthem,” King wrote. “Encouraging a movement premised on lies vs. police. Would he support all player protests? Would he pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes or spew racism? It鈥檚 time to say goodbye to Jets!”
Disgraceful that @nyjets owner will pay fines for players who kneel for National Anthem. Encouraging a movement pre… twitter.com/i/web/status/1鈥?/p>— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) May 26, 2018
By invoking “Nazi salutes,” King is using incendiary language that is sure to enflame the situation just as the NFL was hoping to find a way to prevent it from dominating the headlines. King is also showing that some on the right will put other alliances aside to focus on this issue: After all Colton Sissons Jersey , Johnson is only running the Jets right now because his brother, Jets owner Woody Johnson, is serving as President Trump’s ambassador to the United Kingdom. Woody Johnson is a Republican who has given millions of dollars to Republican campaigns, and he would obviously prefer not to see his football team associated with “Nazi salutes” in a tweet from a Republican Congressman. But King went there.
King’s tweet may be the strongest sign yet that the NFL’s anthem problem isn’t going anywhere. Partisan fighting over the issue will continue all summer, and the media will monitor which players stay in the locker room for the anthem when the season starts. Any players who choose to stay in the locker room will be labeled “sons of bitches” by President Trump. That will surely result in a backlash that sees other players stay in the locker room to show solidarity with their teammates. Which will create a greater backlash among those who criticize the players who don’t stand.
As the November elections approach, every candidate in America will be asked to take a side in the great National Football League anthem debate. Candidates who side with the players who remain in the locker room will be blasted as unpatriotic. Candidates who support requiring all players to stand will be blasted for failing to respect our country’s reverence for freedom of speech.
If you thought the NFL’s national anthem stance was a mess before, you ain’t seen nothing yet. It’s going to be an even bigger mess this year.
Klay Thompson’s shooting touch seems playoff-ready.
The Golden State guard scored 22 of his 34 points in the first quarter and the Warriors beat Phoenix for the 15th consecutive time, 117-100 on Sunday night in the final home game of the Suns‘ awful season.
”It was good to get into a good rhythm, especially with a game left in the season,” Thompson said. ”You want to have some great momentum going into this playoff stretch.”
Kevin Durant added 17 points and nine assists for the Warriors Craig Smith Jersey , whose winning streak against Phoenix is a franchise record for a single opponent.
With the loss, and Memphis’ win over Detroit, Phoenix – at 20-61 – is assured the worst record in the NBA and, consequently, the most ping pong balls in the May 15 draft lottery.
Danuel House scored a career-high 22 points for Phoenix. Alex Len added 16 points and 10 rebounds, Dragan Bender 14 points and 14 boards, and Tyler Ulis 15 points and 10 assists.
The Warriors, who had lost two in a row and five of their previous eight, were already locked in to the No. 2 playoff spot in the Western Conference and working to get healthy for the playoffs, but still had Durant Kris Versteeg Jersey , Thompson and Draymond Green in the lineup against the severely depleted Suns.
Phoenix was without Devin Booker (right hand sprain), T.J. Warren (left knee inflammation), Josh Jackson (right quad contusion), Marquese Chriss (hip soreness), Elfrid Payton (left knee) and Alan Williams (right knee soreness). Troy Daniels tried to play despite a sprained ankle but sat out the second half.
Golden State didn’t have Stephen Curry, still recovering from left MCL sprain, Andre Iguodola (left knee soreness) and Patrick McCaw (lumbar spine contusion).
The goal these last couple of games is to avoid any further health issues, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
”But that is more luck of the draw than anything,” he said. ”I am glad we got through this game in a good way health-wise and did some good things and one more to go.”
Thompson scored 19 consecutive Warriors points in the first quarter, going 9 for 11 from the field and 4 for 6 on 3s in the period.
”That was a scorching first quarter Vladimir Tarasenko Jersey ,” Kerr said. ”That was fun to watch. He had the arena pretty excited too every time he went up for a shot. He had it rolling.”
But Golden State led only 33-29 after one.
The Warriors stretched the lead in the second quarter. Durant scored on a 3-pointer – his first field goal of the game – and added a driving layup to put the Warriors up 55-41. Golden State led by as many as 18 in the second quarter and were up 64-50 at the break.
The Suns never seriously challenged after that.
”These are the dog days right now,” Phoenix interim coach Jay Triano said. ”You can see with the number of guys we’ve got banged up. A lot of guys can’t make it through (82 games). Teams that are going into the playoffs are going through the same things.”
Phoenix has won twice – in 28 games – since Jan. 31 and is guaranteed to finish no better than 21-61, the second-worst record in the franchise’s 50-year history. Only the 1968-69 mark of 16-66 was worse.
The past three seasons, the Suns have won 23, 24 and 20 games. Highly competitive in the Steve Nash era, they will miss the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season.
Phoenix has lost 31 of its last 34. The Suns have a 25 percent chance of securing the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
Warriors: It was the eighth time that Thompson has scored at least 20 in a quarter. … Durant didn’t score a point until he made one of two free throws with 6:27 left in the half. … Warriors last loss to the Suns on Nov. 9, 2014 in Phoenix. … Warriors have won in Phoenix the last seven tries. … With the win, Golden State is 10-4 in the second half of back-to-backs this season.
Suns: This was the 34th different starting lineup Phoenix has used this season. … Booker has missed the last 11 games but has not been declared out of the Tuesday night season finale. … Jackson was hurt in the team’s loss to New Orleans on Friday night.
Warriors: At Utah on Tuesday night in regular-season finale.
Suns: At Dallas on Tuesday night in last game of season.
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