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Amid #TakeAKnee National Anthem Protests, ADL Forms Sports Council

(JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League will work with sports leaders and athletes to promote “positive social change” as the controversy over some NFL players not standing for the national anthem rages.

On Thursday, the ADL announced the formation of a Sports Leadership Council, which it said will “work directly with key leaders in the sports world, including professional athletes, team owners, and other industry leaders to increase the sports community’s efforts to build bridges of understanding, unity and respect.”

Among the members already tapped are Robert Epstein, co-owner and managing partner of the NBA’s Boston Celtics, and Mark Wilf, the owner and president of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.

“This initiative follows a tradition at ADL of partnering with the sports community to combat hate, bullying and discrimination,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

Professional football players have been under fire in recent weeks for kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against the treatment of blacks by police and other officials. President Donald Trump said last week that players who do not stand should be fired and used the epithet “son of a bitch” to describe them.

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