Detroit Lions Owner Offers Players Money For Charity If They Stand For The National Anthem
Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford has promised players that she will donate to charities of their choosing if they stop taking a knee during the national anthem.
“As a team, we came together, talked to Mrs. Ford, the owners, and we understand the issue, for the most part, generally,” running back Ameer Abdullah told the Detroit Free Press. “Me personally, I definitely want to be an aid in growing the social awareness in this country, that it is a race problem in this country.”
“We do dance around the topic a lot and Mrs. Ford has come forward and said that as long as we compromise as a team and unify and make a unified demonstration, she’ll back us financially,” Abdullah added. “So I’m definitely going to hold her to her word.”
Abdullah was one of eight players who kneeled during the singing of the national anthem last week when the Lions played against the Atlanta Falcons. This past Sunday, only two of those eight players, linebackers Steve Longa and Jalen Reeves-Maybin, took a knee while everyone else on the team linked arms on the sideline.
Abdullah, as well as defensive end Cornelius Washington, believe that the agreement between the team and Ford will be worthwhile if she can help them have a more direct impact on problems within the community. However, players still are unsure about how they want to use whatever resources Ford offers them.
“Me and a lot of teammates are conjugating and thinking up some things we can do to be more active in the community to bridge this racial disconnect in a lot of areas,” Abdullah said. “Not just the police department, not just here or there. a lot of different fronts we’re going to attack here. And we have her support, so as long as we have that little pact between us that we’re going to demonstrate in a manner that’s more unified as a team and she has our financial support, we’re going to do so.”