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NFL National Anthem Protests: Players Kneel, Raise Fists In Thursday Games

10 August, 2018, 13:59 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Find another way’ Pre-season NFL anthem protest draws Trump criticism

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during the national anthem before the team's preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, becoming the first players to do so since the NFL tried to implement a rule requiring players to stand.

It has been almost two years since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the anthem in protest of social injustices, sparking a movement among players like Stills and Wilson.

On Thursday night in Philadelphia, Eagles stars Malcolm Jenkins and De'Vante Bausby raised their fists during the anthem, and Chris Long placed his arm around Jenkins' shoulder.

There were no apparent demonstrations by the Buccaneers.

Several NFL players knelt, raised fists or simply refused to take the field during the playing of the national anthem as a controversial protest against police brutality dragged into the 2018 preseason. The Dolphins issued a statement before training camp saying all options regarding the team's policy remain open.

Quinn said: "As a black man in this world, I've got an obligation to raise awareness".

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Kaepernick applauded the Dolphins players shortly after the display for their protest of "systemic oppression". Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Telvin Smith, and running backs Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon joined teammates on the sideline after the anthem. This is not going to become a distraction, and Jacksonville's not going to become a distraction for this team.

"For Malcolm, I don't want to put words in his mouth, but when you talk about symbolic protests or whatever, or drawing attention to causes through symbolism, I think you have to go back and forth because you're like, 'well this isn't moving the needle necessarily, it's about action.' But Malcom can always rest assured that he's taking action and he's working working in the community like a lot of these guys are doing".

The players' union balked at not being included in the decision-making process regarding the rule, so the National Football League backed off and said it would work with the players to formulate a new rule.

It reiterated that players who do not wish to stand during the anthem should stay in the changing room.

The league noted that while players won't be disciplined, it expects all players on the field to stand during the presentation of the flag and the anthem.

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