Two players from the Miami Dolphins kneeled during the national anthem
In May, the NFL took a hard stance against players who protest inequality during the national anthem. The league ruled its players must either stand during the anthem or stay in the locker room until the song’s conclusion.
Players who do not “show respect for the flag” will be fined for their actions.
But in late July, citing ongoing discussions with the NFL Players Association, the league rescinded the ruling. “The NFL has engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans,” the league said in a statement. “While those discussions continue, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem.”
When week one of the 2018 NFL preseason got underway on Thursday, August 9, four out of 12 games involved some form of player protest.
Three Dolphins’ players, including Kenny Stills, were the only ones to kneel during the anthem. The gesture wasn’t lost on Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who started the movement.
My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee. Albert Wilson @iThinkIsee12 joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) August 10, 2018\n
In Philadelphia, Malcolm Jenkins and De’Vante Bausby raised their firsts before their game against Pittsburgh. Jenkins, who’s been an outspoken advocate for social change, released a tweet before the game to explain his gesture.
Before we enjoy this game lets take some time to ponder that more than 60% of the prison population are people of color. The NFL is made up of 70% African Americans. What you witness on the field does not represent the reality of everyday— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) August 9, 2018\n
America. We are the anomalies... pic.twitter.com/gCeNKuTl1d
Much like a dog yapping at a squirrel in a tree, President Trump couldn’t resist commenting on the protests.
The NFL players are at it again - taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018\n
.....Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018\n
Year three of player protests and the corresponding jeers from the patriotically-correct crowd, appears to be on its way. Maybe this will be the season the president, and many of his supporters, will realize the protests aren’t about patriotism, but asking America to live up to the values that make them stand for the Anthem in the first place.