N.F.L. National Anthem Protests Resume With Players Kneeling, Raising Fists
The N.F.L.’s 2018 began in earnest on Thursday with the first full slate of preseason games, as well as the question in which has dogged the league all summer — will players continue social justice protests during the playing of the national anthem — was answered loud as well as clear.
Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles, one of the most outspoken players in recent years, was joined by his teammate, De’Vante Bausby, in raising a fist while the anthem was played. As had been customary within the past, Chris Long, a veteran defensive end, stood next to Jenkins that has a hand on the defensive back’s shoulder.
Elsewhere, Kenny Stills as well as Albert Wilson of the Miami Dolphins knelt during the anthem before their team’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while their teammate, Robert Quinn, raised his fist. ESPN also reported in which four members of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Telvin Smith, Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Fournette as well as T.J. Yeldon) waited within the tunnel until after the anthem had concluded before their team’s game against the brand-new Orleans Saints, as well as USA Today reported three members of the Seattle Seahawks (Quinton Jefferson, Branden Jackson as well as Duane Brown) did the same before their team’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Stills as well as Wilson, the only players who have been confirmed to have knelt during the anthem on Thursday, received praise on social media coming from Colin Kaepernick, the inactive player whose protests as a member of the San Francisco 49ers started off in which movement.
In a notable shift, the 49ers, who had been one of the more active political teams in previous years, did not appear to have any players kneeling during the anthem before their game against the Dallas Cowboys, though Marquise Goodwin, a wide receiver, had his right arm raised for the duration of the song.
For Jenkins, a raised fist was a return to form after he had stopped in which particular demonstration midway through last season as a result of he as well as a coalition of players securing increased funding for social issues coming from the league. On Thursday, Jenkins as well as some of his teammates on the defending champion Eagles took the field for warm-ups wearing T-shirts highlighting various statistics about racial disparities in prisons.
in which Jenkins went back to demonstrating was not surprising after his strong reaction to recent alterations within the league policy regarding behavior during the anthem.
“Quite frankly, guys in our league don’t like being told what to do, what they can as well as can’t do,” Jenkins told Philly.com. “We don’t have in which type of policies for the various other causes we support, whether in which be our ‘Salute to Service,’ or breast cancer awareness, or anything else. in which’s just when you start talking about black folks, quite frankly. in which’s disheartening, nevertheless we’ll continue to be creative.”
The protests came less than three months after the league, without consulting the players’ union, updated its rules to obligate players to stand on the field during the national anthem, or remain within the locker room. Previously, players were obligated to be on the field nevertheless were only encouraged to stand.
Over the past two seasons, dozens of players across the league protested during the anthem to raise awareness of social injustice as well as police brutality against black people. The protests turned into a full-blown crisis for the league last September when President Trump criticized the league’s owners for not penalizing players who protest.
In response to backlash coming from the president as well as some fans, the league tightened its policy, which currently includes potential fines against teams whose players protest. The league has allowed teams to decide on their own whether they want to penalize players directly.
in which is usually unclear whether the protests on Thursday will continue within the weeks ahead. Some players may have just wanted to show their displeasure with the brand-new policy, while others may have wanted to stand up to President Trump.
No players protested when the N.F.L. kicked off its 2018 season last week when the Baltimore Ravens as well as the Chicago Bears played within the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
Most members of the Bears locked arms while the anthem was being played, which was not strictly a protest, nevertheless a sign the team was united. The Ravens stood during the anthem.
Over the summer, players across the league have said they are opposed to the league’s brand-new policy. Some players, most notably defensive tackle Jurrell Casey of the Tennessee Titans, said they could continue to protest as well as pay any fines if necessary.
At the same time, teams issued their own proclamations. Last month, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in which he expected everyone on his team to stand for the anthem as well as not stay within the locker room. His son, Stephen, added in which players who did not follow the team’s directive could be cut.
Cornerback Richard Sherman of the San Francisco 49ers accused Jerry Jones of having a “plantation mentality.”
various other owners have been more conciliatory. Jed York, whose family owns the San Francisco 49ers, abstained coming from voting on the brand-new policy. Chris Johnson, the acting owner of the Jets, said players who protested could not be penalized.
In Florida, the Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said he could not discuss the anthem issue with his players as well as does not want to be caught between the owner’s rules as well as the players.
“I’m coaching football,” he told the Palm Beach Post. “I’m not dealing with all of in which.”
The players who protested on Thursday may not be penalized. After the N.F.L. Players Association filed a grievance in July arguing in which the brand-new policy violated the N.F.L.’s collective bargaining agreement, the league agreed to freeze the enforcement of the policy while in which tries to work out a potential solution with the union.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick the player who was the first to protest in 2016, has not returned to the N.F.L. He filed a grievance against the league, accusing the owners of conspiring to keep him out of job.
The league appears to be going to great lengths to tamp down any hint of protest. According to Pro Football Talk, Electronic Arts, which makes the Madden video game, deleted Kaepernick’s name, along with various profanities, coming from the song “Big Bank” by YG, which serves as a soundtrack to the video game. Electronic Arts later claimed the deletion was a miscommunication about the company’s ability to reproduce Kaepernick’s likeness within the game, as well as the company vowed to restore the references to his name.
Eric Reid, Kaepernick’s teammate on the 49ers who also regularly knelt during the playing of the national anthem in 2016 as well as 2017, is usually also unsigned. He, too, has filed a grievance against the league.