NFL player who kneeled for national anthem tackles Capitol Hill 'externship'
© Getty Images

A Miami Dolphins safety — one of several NFL athletes to kneel during the national anthem — is among the league's players temporarily trading the pigskin for politics.

Michael Thomas will work in Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeOvernight Defense: Defense spending bill amendments target hot-button issues | Space Force already facing hurdles | Senators voice 'deep' concerns at using military lawyers on immigration cases Live coverage: Justice IG testifies before House on report criticizing FBI Merkley leads Dem lawmakers to border amid migrant policy outcry MORE’s (D-Texas) office as part of the NFL Players Association Externship program, the team announced this week.

"I'm excited for this externship because it gives me the chance to connect with Congress in our ongoing efforts to create real change in our communities," Thomas said in a statement released by the Dolphins.

ADVERTISEMENT
"It's not every day that you get hands-on experience at this level of politics. I am going to take this opportunity to learn as much as I can while representing those who may feel voiceless in our communities," the 27-year-old Stanford University alumnus said.

The program matches players with professional experiences that they might be interested in as part of a post-NFL career.

Thomas has taken a knee during the anthem for the past two football seasons, according to The Sun Sentinel.

Then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement in 2016 to protest police misconduct and racial injustice.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE has called out football players who kneel during "The Star-Spangled Banner," saying last year that the NFL should instigate a rule against the practice.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out — he's fired!'" Trump said at a rally in September.

In response to Trump’s remarks, Thomas told reporters last year, “I've got a daughter, and she's going to have to live in this world. And I'm going to do whatever I got to do to make sure that she can look at her dad and be like 'Hey, you did something. You tried to make a change.'"

Thomas, a Houston native, isn’t the only football pro to score a Capitol Hill gig.

Bryan Witzmann, of the Kansas City Chiefs, is working for Rep. Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyLawmakers sound alarm over Amazon face recognition software Dem letter calls for rolling back move targeting drug companies Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers weigh in after Texas school shooting MORE (D-Ill.), while Los Angeles Chargers lineman Cole Toner is set up in the office of Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungBipartisan group introduces retirement savings legislation in Senate GOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border The Hill's Morning Report — Trump: `A very great moment in the history of the world’ MORE (R-Ind.) as part of the NFL’s externship program.

Jackson Lee’s office didn’t get back to ITK about Thomas joining the congresswoman’s team. His externship runs through the beginning of March.