Where was all of this hostility prior to 2009?
Colin Kaepernick initiated the protest of the National Anthem by athletes when he refused to stand while the anthem is played. More athletes are following suit once they realize the symbolism of his efforts.
Stephen A. Smith went on ESPN’s First Take and explained how football players standing during the national anthem became a thing.
“Until 2009, no NFL players stood for the National Anthem because players actually stayed in the locker room as the anthem played. The players were moved to the field during the National Anthem because it was seen as a marketing strategy to make the athletes look more patriotic.”
— Bossip (@Bossip) September 14, 2016