NFL players kneel during national anthem before first preseason game
A pair of Miami Dolphins football players took a knee during the national anthem before the team’s preseason opener on Thursday.
The Sun-Sentinel reported that wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson sat on the bench while other players lined up for the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before kickoff against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As the song began, the players took a knee.
The newspaper noted that Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist while standing during the anthem, renewing a protest he did during the 2017 NFL season.
The gestures from Stills, Wilson and Quinn come just a day after the Dolphins organization submitted a nine-page disciplinary document to the NFL that included a section called “Proper Anthem Conduct,” according to the Sun-Sentinel.
The section said fines or suspensions could potentially be handed out to players who kneel during the anthem.
The Dolphins players weren’t the only ones to renew their protests as the preseason began Thursday night.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, an outspoken advocate for social justice causes, raised his fist during the playing of the national anthem, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Many NFL teams played their first preseason games on Thursday after a highly controversial offseason focused on the league’s response to players who protest during the national anthem.
The NFL announced a policy earlier this year that would require players to stand during the anthem if they were on the field, but the policy quickly drew backlash. The league eventually froze the policy in July after the NFL Players Association filed a grievance.
President Trump has continually railed against NFL players who kneel in protest during the anthem. In May, he asserted that players “shouldn’t be in the country” if they don’t stand for the anthem.
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