At least 16 NFL players protested during the national anthem prior to Sunday’s games, The Associated Press reported.
San Francisco 49ers players Eric Reid, Eli Harold and Marquise Goodwin, and New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon all knelt during the anthem before their teams’ respective games.
Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, who has drawn direct criticism from President TrumpDonald TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE, sat through the anthem prior to his game.
Each of the five players has previously sat or knelt during the anthem throughout this season.
During the late afternoon games, another 11 players were seen protesting in some fashion. Los Angeles Chargers lineman Russell Okung raised his fist during the anthem.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews stayed off the field during the anthem, while his teammate, Nate Palmer, raised a fist.
Los Angeles Rams lineman Robert Quinn raised his fist during the anthem, while the team’s punter, Johhnny Hekker, put his arm around him in support.
At least seven members of the Seattle Seahawks sat or knelt during the anthem prior to the team’s game in Jacksonville. All seven players have previously sat or knelt during the national anthem.
NFL players have protested social justice issues, such as police brutality, since the 2016 season, either kneeling or raising a fist during the national anthem. The issue was brought into the spotlight again in September, when President Trump suggested those taking a knee should be fired.
Players have been spotted protesting each week since Trump's remarks, and the president has continued his criticism of the league for allowing the protests to continue without punishment.
Rep. John LewisJohn LewisWith extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one Obama, Dave Chappelle nominated in same Grammy category Progressive groups urge Feinstein to back filibuster carve out for voting rights or resign MORE (D-Ga.) last week cited Trump's comments about NFL players when explaining why he wouldn't attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, which Trump was also invited to.
Trump spoke in Jackson, Miss., on Saturday, and praised civil rights leaders who were persecuted for their beliefs.
The NFL reached an agreement late last month to provide nearly $90 million for causes deemed important by players, with a special focus on issues facing African-American communities.
- This story was updated at 5:40 P.M. EST