Dave Meggyesy

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Sports Peace and Politics

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Hochman: Nearly 50 years ago, Big Red's Meggyesy staged his own anthem protest

"Amid the Vietnam War, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle declared how players should stand during the anthem — in line, helmet under left arm, right hand on heart, facing the flag.
“I didn’t do that,” said Meggyesy, now 75 years old. “I had my helmet down in front of me and bowed my head, and clearly I was out of sync with everybody else. … I was kind of following in the path of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, thinking — what could I do that could indicate my objection to the war, as well as the ordering of me to be a patriot? ..."

Benjamin Hochman | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Ex-NFL anthem protestor applauds Colin Kaepernick and athletes supporting him

"Before Colin Kaepernick, one NFL player silently protested the national anthem, and it was closer to the time that Tommie Smith and John Carlos made their protest, than to when Kaepernick made his.

But David Meggyesy, former linebacker, activist author and players'union executive, was alone among players back in 1968. Kaepernick has now been joined by a teammate, a fellow NFL player and, notably, U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe last weekend"