NFL player Olivier Vernon takes a knee during anthem
New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon continued his protest on Thursday night, kneeling during the national anthem before a game against the Washington Redskins.
Vernon, who has been kneeling since early on in the NFL season, appeared to be the only player to take a knee before the game.
He was one of several NFL players who knelt last week.
Prior to last Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Vernon told Newsday that he would continue kneeling, even as criticism of the protests continues.
“What it would take for me to stand is if people can understand what the whole message is behind it,” he told Newsday. “That would actually help a whole lot, but everybody doesn’t see things that way and tries to distort what the message was from the beginning, which is basically social injustice on African-Americans and police brutality.”
President Trump, one of the most vocal critics of the kneeling players, continued to rail against the protests on Wednesday.
“The NFL is now thinking about a new idea — keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season,” Trump tweeted. “That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!”
The president was referring to a Washington Post report that some NFL owners were considering changing the anthem rules if the protests persisted.