NFL players kneel during national anthem before first preseason game

Lynette Rowe
August 10, 2018

Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills and newly acquired receiver Albert Wilson knelt during the anthem, while defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist, Pro Football Talk reported.

It has been almost two years since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the anthem in protest of social injustices, sparking a movement among players like Stills and Wilson.

Robert Quinn, a defensive end for the Dolphins, raised his fist.

There were no apparent demonstrations by the Buccaneers.

All of the players on each team at New England appeared to stand for the national anthem, some bowing their heads and others placing their hands on their hearts.

Many NFL teams played their first preseason games on Thursday after a highly controversial offseason focused on the league's response to players who protest during the national anthem. "If no one wants to live in unity, that's why we're in the situation we're in".

Defensive linemen Branden Jackson and Quinton Jefferson, and offensive lineman Duane Brown left the field following team introductions and before the start of the anthem.

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Their coach, Pete Carroll, said he supported any individual decisions over whether to protest.

The NFL issued a statement Thursday night saying they will continue to play the anthem before games.

The players' union filed a grievance about the policy change, and late last month, the new policy was put on hold while the NFL and NFL Players Association work on a resolution.

The NFL has said it won't punish the players who took part in the protests on Thursday, reiterating the league's decision to shelve its new policy regarding conduct surrounding the anthem until it reaches an agreement with the NFL Players Association.

Further protests took place in Jacksonville, where four players for the Jaguars also stayed in the dressing room.

"We remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issue affecting our communities".

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