NFL National Anthem Protests: Players Kneel, Raise Fists In Thursday Games

Bruce Haring

The National Football League players were back at it Thursday night by protesting during the national anthem.

After a quiet Hall of Fame game last week in which there were no protests, there were several demonstrations in the first full week of preseason games on Thursday, including kneel-downs and fists in the air. The NFL and Players Association previously said no one would be punished for protests while both sides attempt to negotiate a compromise. The NFL said in May that players had to stand at attention or stay in the locker room, with teams facing fines and individual players subject to team penalties.

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Despite that cooling-off declaration, Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Stills was a frequent protestor last year. Defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist, and Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De’Vante Bausby also raised fists. Eagles lineman Chris Long placed a supportive arm around Jenkins.

Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett, a frequent protestor last year when he played for the Seattle Seahawks, walked out of the tunnel as the anthem played. He spent the song’s duration walking toward the bench.

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