In defiance of President Donald Trump and some NFL team owners, players this past Thursday night chose to protest in silence during the playing of the national anthem. Players on five teams mounted dome protests in the ongoing debate with taking a knee in remembrance of those who have fallen victim to police violence.
The teams involved on Thursday night included the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens chose to make a statement during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. According to ESPN and other media outlets, there were a total of 15 players across the teams that decided to protest.
The protests included some of the following actions:
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De’Vante Bausby raised their fists during the anthem, and defensive end Chris Long placed his arm around Jenkins’ shoulder. Defensive end Michael Bennett walked out of the tunnel during the anthem and walked toward the bench while it played.
Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during the anthem while defensive end Robert Quinn held up his right fist and shook his head emotionally.
Seattle Seahawks defensive linemen Branden Jackson and Quinton Jefferson joined offensive lineman Duane Brown in leaving the field following team introductions and before the start of the anthem and returning when it was over.
The NFL had stated prior to the start of the preseason that it intended to fine any players who knelt during the anthem but allow them to wait it out in the dressing room. Because of the backlash from players, fans and civil rights organizations that decision is being reconsidered.