None of the NFL teams with still-active “take a knee” protesters have made the playoffs this year, even though four of the five did so in the previous season.
“NBC plans to televise any players who refuse to stand for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at the Super Bowl, but there may be nothing to show,” Valerie Richardson of the Washington Post reported. “It appears that NFL players are no longer taking a knee during the national anthem, namely because none of the teams with still-active protesters has qualified for the postseason.”
Some, like Robert Kuykendall of 2ndVote, believe this is because the protests brought controversy into the locker rooms, affecting “team cohesiveness.”
“I work with athletes, and I’m very sensitive to the impact of even a slight disruption in team unity,” John F. Murray, a sports psychologist who has worked with NFL players said. “I think that would certainly be a possibility. If you’ve got some people who are strongly against that and some people who aren’t, you’re putting that issue in the way of going out there and performing well.”