Former Kansas City Chiefs kicker Nick Lowery said Tuesday the controversy surrounding the national anthem protests has put NFL players in an unfair position.
“There’s been an incredibly unfair position players have been put in who, all to my knowledge, want to honor the military. That’s the most important thing,” Lowery told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney of Varney & Co.
Both NFL owners and players locked arms this weekend in a sign of solidarity after President Donald Trump on Friday called for players to be fired if they disrespected the flag during a rally in Alabama.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones joined his team in taking a knee before the national anthem during Monday night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.
“[The Dallas Cowboys] have expressed something, really I think, intelligently and creatively, which is before the national anthem, we want to say, ‘we’re making a stance as a team,’” Lowery said.
According to the NFL’s game operations manual, all players must be at the sideline for the national anthem as it’s played prior to every game. However, the NFL rulebook does not reference the patriotic song.
When asked why NFL commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t enforce the writing on the league’s operations manual, Lowery said, “I believe the commissioner is trying to make sure that the players [get] a chance to express themselves."
The league has also been plagued by mixed TV ratings and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the head trauma injury that has been found in dozens of deceased football players.
Lowery said the NFL has fallen short on the issue of CTE until 2010 and wants to work with the league on brain injury research.
“The U.S. government has the patent that says cannabinoids are incredibly affective as neuroprotectants to the brain,” he said.