NFL Sunday Ticket is a service offered by DirecTV that allows football fans to watch every NFL game, every week. It costs $280. Ordinarily, you cannot get a refund for the service once the season starts.
This year, however, DirecTV is offering an unprecedented refund for at least some subscribers who are canceling their subscription due to anger over players protesting during the national anthem. The Wall Street Journal originally reported on the change in policy.
ESPN.com spoke to a spokesman from AT&T, which owns DirecTV, who declined to confirm the change in policy and said the company would not be sharing any statistics on the number of subscribers who canceled for this reason and received refunds. The New York Post spoke to one such subscriber, who claimed that a customer service representative told him that there were already five similar cancellation calls to his own on Tuesday.
The protests during the national anthem began last season when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick declined to stand during the anthem as a protest against systemic racism and policy brutality. Teammate Eric Reid joined him in kneeling for the anthem after that, and several players on other teams, such as Malcolm Jenkins of the Eagles, Michael Bennett of the Seahawks, and several members of the Miami Dolphins demonstrated in some way during the anthem as well.
The protestsas Kaepernick has been left without a job and several other incidents of violence have taken place, including an . At the start of the season, a small group of players were either kneeling, sitting or raising a fist in the air during the anthem, while several other players lent support by wrapping their arm around a protesting teammate's shoulder.
This past weekend, the protests and "demonstrations of unity" Dallas Cowboys' of unity and equality, then stood up for the playing of the actual national anthem.after the that kneeled during the anthem. Almost every team locked arms during the anthem as a show of unity, but others had a large group of kneelers, and others remained in the locker room until after the anthem was played. On Monday night, the
The protests have drawn praise in some quarters and derision in others, but have been met with a chorus of boos in most NFL stadiums.