NFL players and their allies in Congress are preparing to march on the capital to protest President Donald Trump’s policies, but a federal judge in Hawaii ruled on Monday that the march cannot begin until the U.S. government gets its act together.
The decision came on a lawsuit filed by a group of Seattle Seahawks players who say the U:S.
has been treating them unfairly, and that the protests are illegal.
The NFL and its owners have long argued that their players have constitutional rights to free speech and peaceful assembly.
But the ruling in Hawaii means that the players are barred from taking part in the march until the government can provide legal justification.
The players say they are prepared to take a stand on issues such as immigration, health care and climate change, and the court’s ruling could put them at odds with some of their more liberal supporters.
It also raises the question of whether the players can take part in a protest when they are not in uniform.
“We are not going to sit on the sidelines and let the government dictate what we should or should not do,” Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson told reporters on Monday.
The judge’s ruling is a significant victory for the players, who argue that the government has repeatedly tried to stifle the movement by threatening to revoke the players’ passports and bar them from the United States for their participation.
Wilson, a member of the Seahawks who has played for the past four seasons, said he is not surprised by the ruling because he believes the government “should be making some concessions.”
He said the players believe they have been treated unfairly and that they have the right to free expression.
“We feel like we have been very unfairly treated, and we feel like the government should be making concessions and understanding that we have to be very firm on some of these issues,” Wilson said.
“So, that’s what we’re going to do.”
He also said the NFL is not planning to boycott the Super Bowl this season.
“It doesn’t make sense for us to go on the field and play at a time where we are not able to play and feel comfortable,” Wilson added.
Wilson’s teammates and coaches are planning to lead the protest.
The players have already formed a committee to develop a plan for what the players will do in the event they are forced to leave the country.
“I am excited and very honored by this decision.
I’m looking forward to getting on with my life, going to work, doing whatever I have to do to help this country move forward,” Seahawks defensive tackle Michael Bennett said.”
If we can come together as a united group and make sure we can do what we can to show the world that we will not be silent, then that’s exactly what we’ll do,” Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch said.
A White House spokesman, Jay Carney, said in a statement that the decision is a victory for American athletes who have repeatedly spoken out against President Trump.
“This is a good decision that gives our players the opportunity to express their views,” Carney said.
The ruling came just days after the NFL and other NFL players protested at the White House in support of former President Colin Kaepernick, who has refused to stand for the national anthem and instead kneels during the playing of the national song.
The president of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, said on Monday the players who participated in the protests have been “incredibly respectful.”