Jesse Jackson calls for NFL players to escalate non-violent protests

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NFL executives hoping for a quiet end to player National Anthem protests are surely disappointed with the events of this week, as most of the Houston Texans’ team kneeled to protest comments made by their owner Bob McNair and Rev. Jesse Jackson implored the rest of the league to do the same.

“The players should escalate their nonviolent protests,” the civil rights leader told the Houston Chronicle on Sunday. “Donald Trump called them ‘sons of bitches.’ (Colin) Kaepernick is not degrading the flag. He’s kneeling to pray, which is in our best tradition. If we had not knelt and prayed nonviolently, where would we be today as a society?”

ESPN The Magazine reported Friday that Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said “we can’t have the inmates running the prison,” in reference to players protesting police brutality during the national anthem. In response, the majority of the team knelt and locked arms prior to Sunday’s game.

In the interview, Jackson said NFL owners have a “plantation mentality” and believes there should be sanctions against McNair for his comments. Jackson reached out to McNair and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, but hasn’t heard back from either, he told the Chronicle.

“The players are objectified in a sense,” Jackson said. “Mr. McNair is a product of the South. They act like he’s a victim or misunderstood, but those players have made him a wealthy man.”

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