Protest in Sports

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The NFL will try to find a compromise over the issue of players protesting during the national anthem when team owners meet this week.

Colin Kaepernick first sat down during the US national anthem in August 2016, before opting to kneel instead, in protests against racial injustice.

Opt to: to choose X instead of Y, when given a choice of either.

“I opted to drink tea this morning (instead of coffee)”
”We have opted to renew your contract (instead of canceling it)
”I am opting to stay and work late today (instead of working this weekend)”

To opt OUT: to choose not to participate in some planned activity or event

”The president opted out of planned photoshoot”
”We have decided to opt out of the exhibition next year”
”If they opt out, we can take their place at the exhibition next year”
”You may opt out of the contract at any time, though there will be a small fee”
”They have opted out of the tender process this year”

Other players followed suit, and the protests spread after criticism from President Donald Trump last month.

To Follow suit: to recreate, or follow someone else’s lead, example, or action.

“Our competitors have increased their prices, and we will follow suit”
”We have created new guidelines, and the other municipalities will follow suit”
”They all drank wine with lunch, so I followed suit”

An NFL spokesman said he anticipated “a very productive presentation”.

Anticipate: to be ready for something; to have a plan “in case of…”

”I wore my boots, because I am anticipating rain”
”We are anticipating an 15% increase in sales this quarter”
”Do you anticipate any problems with the new IT software?”
”We should have anticipated this problem. Now we are unprepared.”

The meeting will take place in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a letter to teams in which he said disputes over the protests threatened “to erode the game’s unifying power”.

To erode: to slowly wear down, or slowly destroy.

He added: “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem. It is an important moment in our game.

“We want to honour our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.

“We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues.”

Kaepernick, 29, has been without a team since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March.

On Sunday it was announced he has filed a grievance against team owners he believes are conspiring not to hire him because of his protests.