Posted by Andy Benoit
One of the most interesting moments of Thursday night’s season opener was the “we are one” salute of solidarity that the Saints and Vikings players performed before kickoff. We may have to come up with an official title for this gesture – and not just because “the ‘we are one’ salute of solidarity” is a tad wordy.
Though the gesture was not organized league-wide, it’s now been seen by all, which means it’s almost certain that players from the other 30 teams will partake in the act this Sunday and Monday. The question is, will we see it every week for the rest of this season?
Mike Golic of ESPN pointed out that solidarity is great, but it’s also unnecessary in this case because, unlike in 1987, the players don’t have to worry about crossing picket lines (they’re facing a lockout, not a strike).
If you want to read some hyperbole on the matter that’s overboard to the point of humorous, here’s a gem from Bills safety George Wilson, who is on the NFLPA’s board of representatives. Wilson, sharing his thoughts on the Saints’ and Vikings’ gesture with ESPN’s Tim Graham, said "It was a true acknowledgment from one team to an opponent 'Yeah, we're about to embark on 60 minutes of hell, of physical competition, aggression and passion, but before we do that, we're one team, one locker room.' It was gladiator-like, almost."
Gladiator like? Did gladiators even have unions?
Right now, the players are getting some positive press for the whole thing. But that could change if they continue to show solidarity every week for the next five months. It will be interesting to see how public opinion plays out here.
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