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  • Detroit Lions players kneeling during the national anthem last Sunday.

    Detroit Lions players kneeling during the national anthem last Sunday. | Photo: Reuters

Ford promised to donate money as well as lend her name to social causes chosen by the players.

Owner of the National Football League's (NFL) Detroit Lions, Martha Ford, asked the team members to stand for the anthem against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, according to The Detroit Free Press.

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According to the report, Ford addressed the team prior to the game and promised to donate money as well as lend her name to social causes chosen by the players.

“As a team, we came together, talked to Mrs. Ford, the owners, and we understand the issues for the most part, generally," expressed Lions running back Ameer Abdullah.

"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 a we compromise as a team and unify and make a unified demonstration, she’ll back us financially. So I’m definitely going to hold her to her word."

During last weekend's game, eight players took the knee when the anthem was played. Only two players – linebackers Steve Longa and Jalen Reeves-Maybin – knelt on Sunday.

The Lions players told the Free Press they were happy with the compromise with Ford.

“She just asked us not to take the knee and basically told us – not basically, she told us she would back and support financially as well as put her name on whatever issues that we wanted to try to attack,” Washington told the Detroit Free Press.

“But as far as the kneeling, she just I guess felt like there was better ways to get the point across. And at this point, people know what we’re kneeling for so now trying to take that next step in the plan of action to foster change is, that’s the next part and that’s the part she’s willing to get behind.”

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Ford, last week, joined the players on the field to link arms.

The “Take a Knee” movement has incorporated compromise among other teams, some electing to kneel prior to the anthem and stand during.

The NFL teams have been kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.

The movement was started by former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick.

U.S. President Donald Trump recently stirred controversy by suggesting that NFL owners get the "son of a bitch off the field," advocating for the firing any player who kneel during the anthem.


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