NFL player who kneeled for national anthem tackles Capitol Hill 'externship'
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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 LeePocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Grand jury charges no officers in Breonna Taylor death Hillicon Valley: Murky TikTok deal raises questions about China's role | Twitter investigating automated image previews over apparent algorithmic bias | House approves bill making hacking federal voting systems a crime 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.

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"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 TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden 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 KellyHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Lawmakers push for improved diabetes care through tech advancements Senate passes bill to secure internet-connected devices against cyber vulnerabilities MORE (D-Ill.), while Los Angeles Chargers lineman Cole Toner is set up in the office of Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungShelton's Fed nomination on knife's edge amid coronavirus-fueled absences Grassley quarantining after exposure to coronavirus Rick Scott to quarantine after contact with person who tested positive for COVID-19 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.