The New England Patriots opted to stand for the national anthem before the game on Sunday, Oct. 1, against the Carolina Panthers.
Some Patriots players took a knee last week during the national anthem, prompting boos from the crowd at Gillette Field in Foxborough, Mass.
But this week, Everyone on the Patriots sideline stood, hand over heart, while the “Star-Spangled Banner” played, their left arm around their teammate to the left.
The Panthers players also elected to stand for the anthem.
— Joe Kayata (@NBC10_Joe) October 1, 2017
— JamesRoy (@JamesRoy) October 1, 2017
The mass anthem protests were triggered after President Donald Trump said last weekend that any player who sits or takes a knee should be fired. Last week, at least 200 players protested in some way, but most took a knee while the anthem played.
Trump said that ratings are “way down” for NFL games due to the protests.
NFL_Panthers247 #Panthers elect to stand as a team for national anthem:
— House of Panthers (@HouseofPanthers) October 1, 2017
Jonathan Stewart and Thomas Davis during the anthem pic.twitter.com/eN5dhkOnYN
— Bill Voth (@PanthersBill) October 1, 2017
On Saturday, the president retweeted a video showing hockey fans standing for the anthem.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ushered in the protests in 2016, and a few players followed suit last year. Kaepernick and other players have claimed they’re protesting police brutality in the wake of prominent officer-involved shootings around the United States and perceived racial injustice.
Last Sunday’s protests were the largest of their kind.