For the national anthem before Sunday’s game, the New Orleans Saints followed the Dallas Cowboys.
The team members took a knee before the anthem for a few moments and then stood when it began playing, which is what the Cowboys did in their “Monday Night Football” game. Last week, several Saints team members took knees during the anthem.
The Saints played the Miami Dolphins in London at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 1. Three Dolphins players—Kenny Stills, Julius Thomas, and Michael Thomas—took a knee for the entirety of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” ESPN reported.
The three Dolphins who took knees during the anthem stood for “God Save the Queen,” the United Kingdom’s national anthem.
3 Miami Dolphins took a knee for ours, stood for England's God Save The Queen. pic.twitter.com/OUutgIPFH1
— John Woods (@johnrw12) October 1, 2017
— Baltimore Sun Sports (@BaltSunSports) October 1, 2017
The protests were started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who said he took a knee to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
— Mirror NFL (@MirrorNFL) October 1, 2017
Saints kneeling as a team before the anthem at Wembley. pic.twitter.com/hIbwYSUxoQ
— stan verrett (@stanverrett) October 1, 2017
It comes a week after President Donald Trump suggested that players who refused to stand for the anthem should be fired. Last Sunday, about 200 players partook in some form of protest during the anthem, prompting many fans to say they won’t watch any more games or buy team merchandise.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
Over the weekend, Trump continued to make reference to standing for the anthem, tweeting a video showing 19,000 fans standing for the anthem at a hockey game.
“Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!” the president tweeted on the night of Saturday, Sept. 30.
In a report last week, ratings for NFL games were down 11 percent from last year’s ratings. The overall NFL ratings declined 8 percent from 2015 to 2016.
Trump has made the ratings a topic of his tweets, saying that if players persist in kneeling during the anthem, the numbers will plummet even more.
“Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!” he tweeted last week.
Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017