Fact Check

Were 10 NFL Players Disqualified in a Single Week for Kneeling During National Anthem?

Questions were raised about the extent of referees' authority over political matters.

Published Oct. 30, 2023

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10 NFL players were disqualified in the span of a week in the 2023 NFL season for kneeling during the national anthem

On Oct. 27, 2023, SpaceXMania published an article positing that 10 players were disqualified across multiple games in the span of a week for choosing to kneel for the national anthem. It then went on to interrogate the role of the referee extending beyond "ensuring rules are adhered to" and "the extent of their authority in political expressions." The article begins as follows:

Breaking: NFL Referees Disqualified 10 Players For Anthem Kneeling Last Week

In an unprecedented move that has sent shockwaves through the National Football League (NFL) and its global fanbase, referees disqualified ten players last week due to their decision to kneel during the national anthem. This significant number of disqualifications in a single week has stirred a new chapter in the ongoing debate about free speech, patriotism, and social activism within the sports arena.

This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. Aside from a "SATIRE" tag placed at the top of the page, SpaceXMania is a website that describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

Please note that the article under the category “SATIRE” are satirical in nature and are not meant to be taken seriously. These articles are meant to be humorous and are often entirely made up. We make no claim that the information presented in these articles is true or accurate.

Readers should exercise caution and use their own judgment when reading and interpreting our satirical articles. We take no responsibility for any actions taken based on the content of these articles.

While SpaceXMania did post the article on Facebook and garnered 945 likes at the time of this writing, other platforms such as My Life Story and Heroes of USA each earned 2,800 likes and 1,600 likes respectively. Other sites such as Newz Discover and USA New's also republished SpaceXMania's article.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.


admin. ‘Breaking: NFL Referees Disqualified 10 Players For Anthem Kneeling Last Week’. USA NEW’S, 28 Oct. 2023, https://www.faithhopel.info/breaking-nfl-referees-disqualified-10-players-for-anthem-kneeling-last-week/.

Breaking: NFL Referees Disqualified 10 Players For Anthem Kneeling Last Week. 27 Oct. 2023, https://spacexmania.com/breaking-nfl-referees-disqualified-10-players-for-anthem-kneeling-last-week/.

Breaking: NFL Referees Disqualified 10 Players For Anthem Kneeling Last Week. 29 Oct. 2023, https://newzdiscover.com/breaking-nfl-referees-disqualified-10-players-for-anthem-kneeling-last-week/.

Taija PerryCook is a Seattle-based journalist who previously worked for the PNW news site Crosscut and the Jordan Times in Amman.