NFL players protest during anthem, drawing rebuke from Trump
NFL players demonstrated during the national anthem at several preseason games Thursday night, protests that again drew a rebuke from President Donald Trump.
Writing on Twitter from his New Jersey golf resort, Trump said today that players "make a fortune doing what they love," and those who refuse to stand "proudly" for the anthem should be suspended without pay.
He contended "most of them are unable to define" what they're demonstrating against." Instead, he said, players should "Be happy, be cool!"
In Philadelphia, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De'Vante Bausby raised their fists during the anthem, and defensive end Chris Long placed his arm around Jenkins' shoulder. Jenkins had stopped his demonstration last December.
Defensive end Michael Bennett walked out of the tunnel during the anthem and walked toward the bench while it played. It appeared all the Steelers stood.
"Everybody is waiting for what the league is going to do," Jenkins said. "We won't let it stop what we stand for. I was very encouraged last year with the direction and that obviously took a different turn.
"I think it's important to utilize the platform as we can because for whatever reason, we have framed this demonstration in a negative light, and often players have to defend why we feel the need to fight for everyday Americans, and in actuality we're doing the right thing."
At Miami, Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson and defensive end Robert Quinn protested during the anthem. Stills and Wilson kneeled behind teammates lined up standing along the sideline. Quinn stood and raised his right fist. There were no apparent protests by the Buccaneers.
"As a black man in this world, I've got an obligation to raise awareness," Quinn said. "If no one wants to live in unity, that's why we're in the situation we're in."
Stills kneeled during the anthem during the 2016-17 seasons and has been vocal discussing social injustice issues that inspired the protest movement by NFL players.
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the leader of the movement, tweeted support for Stills and Wilson.
"My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee," the tweet said. "Albert Wilson joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!"
And in Seattle, three Seahawks players ran into the team's locker room before the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."