Before Sunday’s game against the Calgary Stampeders, the Saskatchewan Roughriders locked arms in a sign of unity as “O’Canada” was being played before the start of their game against the Calgary Stampeders.
The move was done in reaction to a move taken south of the border by NFL players who took aim at divisive comments made on the weekend by U-S President Donald Trump. He suggested NFL owners fire players who don’t stand for the “Star-Spangled Banner” and later referred to NFL players who refused to stand during the national anthem as “sons of bitches” at a rally in Alabama. Those words resulted in NFL teams and players becoming unified with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks staying in the locker-room until the national anthem, had concluded.
After Sunday’s game, quarterback Kevin Glenn told reporters “Sometimes people don’t understand that we have to go back to that kind of stuff. We’re here for six months during the season, but then we have to actually go back and live in that. That’s why we did it.”
Offensive lineman Derek Dennis chimed in by saying at no time was consideration ever given to kneeling during the anthem.
Dennis said ““We all have the opportunity to play in a great country like Canada. We didn’t want to disrespect the Canadian flag or the Canadian armed forces because this country has done wonders for a lot of us. If it wasn’t for the CFL, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to play professional football. It was just a way for us to show solidarity and show support for our brothers and our families back home that we understand what’s going on and we’re not blind to it.”