Boycott NFL 2018: NFL preseason sees kneeling, raised fists, during national anthem

Boycott NFL 2018: NFL preseason sees kneeling, raised fists, during national anthem

NFL players continued to protest during the national anthem on Thursday night as the league began its first full week of the 2018 preseason.

Some players held their fists in the air, while others decided to kneel, despite the controversy surrounding the action.

Wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, both of the Miami Dolphins, kneeled during The Star-Spangled Banner, ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Miami Herald reported.

Robert Quinn, a defensive end for the Dolphins, raised his fist. Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins, who plays safety, and De'Vante Bausby, a cornerback, also raised their fists, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Defensive end Michael Bennett walked out of the tunnel as the anthem played and "spent the anthem walking toward the bench," the news outlet reported. Teammate Chris Long reportedly "placed his arm around Jenkins' shoulder" during the song.

Across the NFL, players followed former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season in protest of social injustice and racial inequality.

It sparked a national discussion about patriotism, and drew sharp vitriol from President Trump, who condemned those who kneeled as disrespectful to America.

Trump in June uninvited the Eagles from visiting the White House in honor of their Super Bowl win months earlier. He said the team didn't agree with his belief that NFL players should stand during the anthem.

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The NFL modified its national anthem protocol in May, prohibiting any sort of demonstrations for the 2018 season, but allowing players to remain in the locker room during the anthem if they chose to. Individual teams would be responsible for disciplining any demonstrators.

The players' union filed a grievance about the policy change, and late last month, the new policy was put on hold while the NFL and NFL Players Association work on a resolution.

Following Stills and Wilson's reported protests Thursday, Kaepernick tweeted: "My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee. Albert Wilson @iThinkIsee12 joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!"

Viewer reactions:

Patricia Kosec-Malampy Not watching finding better things to do with my time. It’s funny though during the off season did you see any protest. Overpaid children. College football for me. And good point about Tebow not being able to kneel and pray. Double standards

Chris Betker-Goller So it’s okay for them to disobeys the rules set forth by the league, I guess. If my boss says don’t do something, and I decide to do it anyway, I don’t get recognition for it. Most likely I’ll get either written up or let go!

Crystal Arnold Heiser Boycott the NFL these players don’t deserve the money! The NFL is all about money not playing football! Where is the heart of playing football! Miss the old days of good footbal

Kristin Filley-Coulson Hey, all of you protesting the NFL like me. If you want another sport to watch where players respect those who have died for our freedoms watch Women's Professional Fastpitch Softball (NPF)!! It won't disappoint 

Pat Ikner I bet hardly any of these kneeling have ever served or fought for our country. If you want to protest do it some other way than disrespecting our flag. I'm sure they could find some other time during the game. Another football season down the drain for me. Won't watch it while they are during this.

Rick Thomas Canceled my NFL package tonight I do believe they have the right to do it not in the workplace and I don't want politics in my sports if they want to do something go to Chicago try to stop the violence on the streets and stop killing each other would be a good start

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