At Least 20 Players Protest During Anthem After NFL Agrees to Fund Player Activism

December 4, 2017 Updated: December 4, 2017    

Some 18 NFL players demonstrated during or after the national anthem at Sunday’s games, according to The Associated Press. While not a significant increase, it’s significant because they’re protesting despite a league agreement to fund player activism efforts.

Three players for the San Francisco 49ers and three Miami Dolphins took a knee during their respective games. Seven players on the Seattle Seahawks took a knee or sat during the anthem. Players on the Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders, the Los Angeles Chargers, and New York Giants also took part in the protests.

According to ESPN, Michael Bennett, Dion Jordan, Sheldon Richardson, Frank Clark, Quinton Jefferson, Jarran Reed, Marcus Smith II, and Branden Jackson partook in protests. Marquise Goodwin, safety Eric Reid, and linebacker Eli Harold for the 49ers took a knee during their game.

Olivier Vernon for the Giants took a knee during his team’s game. Chargers left tackle Russell Okung rose his fist. And Marshawn Lynch for the Raiders sat during the anthem. Most New Orleans Saints players knelt briefly in unity before the anthem, according to ESPN.

Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters remained in the locker room during the anthem, it was reported.

Kenny Stills, safety Michael Thomas, and tight end Julius Thomas took a knee on the field during the national anthem before their game, according to the network. Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews stayed in the locker room for their game.

Late last week, the NFL reached an agreement to provide $89 million for causes deemed important by players. It caused Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who protested by raising his fist during the anthem, to announce that he would no longer protest.

In September, President Donald Trump suggested that NFL team owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. He’s tweeted about the league and the anthem protests on a regular basis since his initial remarks.

“The NFL is now thinking about a new idea—keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season,” Trump wrote on Twitter in late November. “That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!”

 

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