NFL players protest during anthem, drawing rebuke from Trump


Photographs by AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Miami Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn (94) raises his right fist during the singing of the national anthem, before the team's preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

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 Friday 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, a 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 prior to the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

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. They returned to the sideline immediately after it concluded. All three were among a group of Seattle players that sat during the anthem last season.

Brown and Jefferson said they intend to continue the action all season. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the team discussed the topic and decided to support individual decisions. Brown said he didn't believe there had been much progress made from the demonstrations of last season.

"Everyone was clear on my decision and understands and supports it," Brown said. "We all have different realities in this country and they understand my perspective. We're all on good terms."

In Jacksonville, four Jaguars remained in the locker room during the national anthem, and team officials said it would be up to the players to explain why they weren't on the field. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Telvin Smith, and running backs Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon joined teammates on the sideline after the anthem.

"As a man, I got certain beliefs," said Smith, who wore "Salute the Service" cleats. "You know what I mean? This is not going to become a distraction, and Jacksonville's not going to become a distraction for this team. I got beliefs. I did what I did. I don't know if it's going to be every week, can't answer if it's going to be every week.

"But as a man I've got to stand for something. I love my team, I'm dedicated to my teammates, and that's what we're talking about. I did what I did. It was love. I hope people see it and respect it. I respect views."

At Baltimore, both teams stood, but while most of the Ravens lined up shoulder to shoulder on the sideline, second-year linebacker Tim Williams stood alone in front of the bench with his back toward the field.

All players on each team at New England appeared to stand for the anthem, some bowing their heads and others placing their hands on their hearts. The Patriots observed a moment of silence beforehand for Weymouth, Massachusetts, police officer Michael Chesna, who was killed last month in the line of duty.

The league and the players' union have yet to announce a policy for this season regarding demonstrations during the anthem after the league initially ordered everyone to stand on the sideline when the anthem is played, or remain in the locker room.

"The NFL has been 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," league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email.

"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.

"Meanwhile, there has been no change in the NFL's policy regarding the national anthem. The anthem will continue to be played before every game, and all player and non-player personnel on the field at that time are expected to stand during the presentation of the flag and performance of the anthem. Personnel who do not wish to do so can choose to remain in the locker room.

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


LR1955 says...

Start a new 3rd league for the players that are not happy in the National or American leagues.
Call it Football League. Let them play on their knees. Bet they won’t like their salaries. Bet they won’t have many viewers.

Posted 10 August 2018, 11:46 a.m. Suggest removal

RPC2 says...

This whole thing is ridiculous. What are they trying to protest? Act like a normal human being with some common sense and you will be just fine. Why are police beating these great people they are arresting (if this is what you are protesting) because they want to be ignorant and smart off and resist. Make millions of dollars playing football but that isn't enough. They want drugs, steal, rape, fight whatever. Never enough. Be something to the young generation grow up and be a role model. Be someone people look up to and not a dead beat that people look down on. That is what this is turning into. There's several good people out there. The NFL needs to put a stop to it and remove those that want to protest during the National Anthem. I hate to post stuff like this but it just irritates me to see people act like that.

Posted 10 August 2018, 1:30 p.m. Suggest removal

itryed says...

Gonna get ugly on both sides

Posted 10 August 2018, 2:58 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

Basically it comes down to one of two things: 1. the players can be punished by the league or their individual teams; or 2. the league or individual teams can allow them to continue. They have no right to do this, however if none of their "bosses" care then they can continue to do it. However, if the fans do not like it, they can stop watching the games, going to the games and stop buying products. If the fans (enough of them) do this, then the "bosses" will step in (and have the right to do so if they choose to) and stop this or put some requirements on the players. Right now it appears as a childish acting out against nothing. They are basically saying in their protest "we are offended by this country, the song represents this country and therefore we will not stand for the song." All the while, taking that HUGE paycheck, and buying gold necklaces, watches and gold cars (if they can get one), and watching the individuals that are actually living what they are protesting and doing nothing about it. They could take (and public documents demonstrate that they are not) some of the millions they are making to do something that would actually be positive in helping those that are demonstrating for. This kneeling is doing absolutely nothing to help the ones that they are supposedly doing this in support of. They are basically getting 3 more minutes of attention.

Posted 10 August 2018, 3:12 p.m. Suggest removal

CartoonDude says...

If any of these showboats protested during the off season at city hall or in front of a police station, it sure didn't make the news. BTW, none of them did that, so...

Posted 10 August 2018, 4:43 p.m. Suggest removal

NoUserName says...

LRCA - " They have no right to do this, however if none of their "bosses" care then they can continue to do it."
Within the scope of the union contract, of course.

Posted 10 August 2018, 6:01 p.m. Suggest removal

titleist10 says...

If they are unhappy in America they can go back to Africa and live in thatched roof huts with dirt floors tax payers would be more than willing to foot the bill

Posted 10 August 2018, 6:29 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

No one has denigrated and disrespected this country, its history and traditions more than Trump, yet his supporters all think his racism and xenophobia, his belligerent F-you’s to our allies, his embrace of dictators and aspirations of dictatorship are admirable - and he does it all on the taxpayers’ dimes! Yet those same Trumptards deny the simple right of SILENT protest against racism to all others. Rich - richly and breathtakingly hypocritical, that is.

Posted 10 August 2018, 7:23 p.m. Suggest removal

glow says...

They are just not doing their race any good by this kind of protest. If anything, it makes people more prejudiced. There are many other ways that they can help their race.

Posted 10 August 2018, 9:38 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

Spoken like a an ignorant, priveleged white racist Trumptard, glow. Horrendous.

Posted 10 August 2018, 9:44 p.m. Suggest removal

NoCrossNoCrown says...

So very proud of the player who have the courage to take their stance in-spite of all the hateful folks who really must not understand the constitution or the right to peacefully protest. Those who continue to, lie to themselves and, pretend that this has anything to do with patriotism or somehow a slight against our service members are no more than lying dishonest blowhards. I hope the fans will join with the players until this country stands up to it's own ideals and promises. These idiot act as if the amount of money a person makes means the fewer ideals they should uphold and that because they may make far more than the average salary, they should just be beholden to they money and allow injustice to continue because the idiot at 1600 gets in his feelings and tries to distract from the crooked administration he continues to lead and the fools that allow his fecklessness to continue eat this kind of bull crap until they are ready to explode. All the racist comments are proof that these true Americans heroes, these football players are doing the right thing by taking a knee. Our soldiers agree with the player and their protest was suggested by a service person. I thank them for their service and their dedication to uphold what this country was built on and stands for. May God bless both groups of these American heroes.
After all, I guess y'all don't have to worry about going to hell for lying to yourselves....

Posted 11 August 2018, 12:37 a.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

NoUser...That is my point. It is within the bosses rights to enforce the contract. However, if they choose not to enforce the contract then the players can continue to do this. It may cause a problem later, if the bosses try to enforce the clause on someone that acts in a manner that the bosses do not agree with. The one violating the clause at a later time may argue that you did not enforce the clause in this situation, therefore, the boss may be estopped from enforcing later.

Posted 11 August 2018, 12:27 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

DB..."...simple right of SILENT protest against racism to all others."
Sorry DB, this right does not exist. This may cost the employer money and they have every right to stop the players from doing this. Whether they do or not, is the bosses choice not the players. As I said earlier, by not enforcing the clause with this situation could come back to bite the bosses in the a$$ later, if they try to enforce on someone else.

Posted 11 August 2018, 12:29 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

DB..."Spoken like a an ignorant, priveleged white racist Trumptard, glow. Horrendous."
Why do you constantly degrade people on these pages. The person just stated their opinion. In no way did they state anything racist or show any racial statement. In their opinion, it causes more trouble than it is worth. Taking a knee only brings the light on them (not the people they are doing this for, supposedly), and will not help the people or them later on. Do something in the off season with those millions of dollars (which most of them do not, I say most because a few do, but nowhere near the numbers that "take a knee"), to help racial tensions in America. This, as the poster stated, just causes further divisions in race relations.

Posted 11 August 2018, 12:33 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

NoCross...."...really must not understand the constitution or the right to peacefully protest..."
I do, and you are wrong! All of these players are employees of a private company/organization. Our Constitution only protects that right from GOVERNMENT oppression not private. These owners and NFL have every right to stop this protest, just like your boss can stop you from saying things he doesn't like when you are at work.

Posted 11 August 2018, 12:37 p.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...

Trump says that this issue plays into his hand, and I believe that to be true. I am all in favor of protesting, but does it have to be during the national anthem? The best way to protest things that you want to change in this country is to vote.

Posted 11 August 2018, 1:25 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

Aaaannnd again...crook on yet another multi-segment droning lecture he’s not qualified to make. I respond to people in kind based on their comments. If someone demonstrates him/herself to be a raging racist, while entitled to their opinion, he/she should brace for mine. You also make ZERO address of my points re Trump’s behavior - because you give him a pass on it. You are a barking, blathering hypocrite and Trump apologist on issues like this. Next time you deign to lecture me - or anyone else for that matter - resist the urge.

Posted 11 August 2018, 1:47 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

DB..." ...because you give him a pass on it. You are a barking, blathering hypocrite and Trump apologist on issues like this."
GFY! I will never resist the urge to point out a racist person making racist comments (YOU). You are the most racist individual on these posts and far exceeds anything posted by anyone else. You have no more right to post your blathering idiocy on here than I have the right to post that you are an idiot. You post your ad hominem statements with nothing to back them up. Just because you hear or read that someone says something and glean from that statement some form of racist statement does not mean that anyone else should or that they are any less intelligent for not hearing or seeing the same hate filled crap that you post.

Posted 11 August 2018, 2:02 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

Crook - Trump takes my money, your money, EVERY taxpayer’s money and calls fascists ‘fine people,’ denigrates blacks at every turn, is an ADMITTED sex abuser and serial philanderer, serial liar who surrounds himself with criminals, has availed himself REPEATEDLY of bankruptcy rather than paying his bills, has abused the immigration system on behalf of 2 illegal alien wives, 4 anchor babies and now 2 illegal alien in laws, dismisses and disrespects allies while befriending and openly admiring dictators and aspiring to dictatorship - and calls US war heros cowards, insults Gold Star parents and deports immigrants who’ve served this country IN BATTLE. Where’s your mani-F-ing-festo on THAT? Oh, it’s irrelevant IYFO, I’m sure.

Posted 11 August 2018, 2:09 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

Hahaha, crook, calling ME a racist when you defend lyncher-wannabes like fake. Pssst, your desperation is showing.

Posted 11 August 2018, 2:14 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

And did I mention the further hypocrisy of harping on how NFL players are merely employees who MUST heel to the demands of their employers. How is Trump not employed by ALL US citizens, even those who didn’t vote for him? He takes our money as if we did. Yet we’re expected to be SILENT, sit back and let him run roughshod, while a bunch of athletes are CONDEMNED for taking a knee in protest of a single, worthy very serious cause. What if the CEO of a US-based global multinational demanded all employees begin their days with the anthem or pledge of allegiance? He/she would be removed immediately.

Posted 11 August 2018, 2:37 p.m. Suggest removal

TimberTopper says...

LRATTY, The players are on their own time until the kickoff. That is when their job begins, and it ends when the clock runs out. Prior to they are preparing to go to work, which is their own time. During that time you may see some exercising, running, passing and or catching balls, or trying to block a catch. They are preparing their bodies for the work that they are about to do. I don't think that this is the best way to protest, however it is not against the law, and it is a peaceful act.

Posted 11 August 2018, 2:57 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

DB...Psst! You are showing your racist behavior in your rants. It is very apparent that you are racist and all the whistle blowing words you use to describe Trump and his family is full obliteration of what people like me are attempting to correct, and that is your overt racism. You need to talk to a specialist to determine why you have such racial hate.

Posted 11 August 2018, 3:33 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

DB..."...He takes our money as if we did."
You demonstrate your racial hate in the statement. All of us (because we are citizens and must pay taxes) have paid money even when we didn't vote for the President who happens to be in office. It would be a very sad country if the loser's constituents didn't have to pay taxes. Like I said you need serious help with your overt racism and hate.

Posted 11 August 2018, 3:36 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

TT..."...The players are on their own time until the kickoff."
Wrong, actually, according to their contracts they are on their employers' dimes even when not in the stadium. Otherwise, when they are arrested in off season for beating their girlfriends or snorting coke, they would not be able to be removed. If anything they do, whether on the field or off, damages the team or NFL they can be fined or removed.

Posted 11 August 2018, 3:38 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

Hahaha, crook. You’re unable of countering any of my claims because they’re all TRUE and VERIFIABLE. I’d love to take credit for unhinging you but you were unhinged long before. Calling out Trump and his illegal alien wives and anchor babies doesn’t make me a racist. It actually has no bearing at all on racism. You are free to compile any/all of my supposed ‘racist’ posts and take a vote. Since there won’t be any posts supporting your claim, the vote will be unnecessary. You made a living as a lawyer? I find that hilariously unlikely given your complete incompetence. Maybe as an ambulance chaser, however.

Posted 11 August 2018, 3:48 p.m. Suggest removal

TimberTopper says...

LRATTY, actually you are wrong, yes there are contracts that if they get convicted of a crime they can be kicked off the team. However that is involving doing a crime, and it is there 24/7. There is no crime to protest peacefully. If they did it during the playing of the game then the owners could step in.

Posted 11 August 2018, 3:49 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

DB...You are exactly right. I made my living as an engineer (computer/electrical programming microprocessors that control your car). Not as ambulance chaser (as my name implies criminal law attorney). I represent the underserved (for free as I do not need money to support my position as attorney). I do not get "unhinged" as I do not have a "dog" in this fight. I read it as I see it, your posts are blatant racism and if (you have done it before) someone posts the exact same language, but against someone you support, you again (like you say everyone else does) become unhinged and start typing incoherent statements.

Posted 11 August 2018, 3:56 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

TT..." There is no crime to protest peacefully."
There is no right to do this, using your employees money either. Who do you think pays for the television time (even during the national anthem). Therefore, since the NFL and owners pay for this time, it is on their "time," and can stop anything they do not want to happen (mostly stuff that will take money out of their pockets). Legally (meaning civil action not criminal) the players have no right to protest (that the owners feel will hurt them financially), especially during televised events paid for by the NFL and the owners.

Posted 11 August 2018, 3:59 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

zzt...zzt...zzt...shortcircuit. That’s how I read your response, crook. I’m one of several consistently anti-racist posters here. Your claims I’m a racist simply have no basis in fact and can’t be supported. Desperate, sad and embarrassing for a defender of racists (Ex: fake) like you.

Posted 11 August 2018, 4:06 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

So by the logic in your last post to TT, crook, what are Trump’s EMPLOYERS’ rights and means of sanctioning/controlling his actions as an out of control employee who can’t get along with anyone, offends and threatens everyone - except dictators - and white proponents, which are all undermining the value of the US as a world leader?

Posted 11 August 2018, 4:12 p.m. Suggest removal

TimberTopper says...

LRATTY, The broadcast are not paid for by the owners. The broadcast network contracts to put the games on their networks for a certain amount of money each year. With all probability, each player goes into contract talks with their own lawyer by their side, and believe me they are not going to sign away a right given each American to a team owner. Having signed quite a few contracts myself some with clauses regarding the unlawful acts if committed by me clauses in them, never once was my rights of free speech. You act as if the owner says none of my players can own a gun then the owner has the right to take away that individuals right to own a gun. I'm thinking you may need to go back and research the free speech, as they are protesting using the right of free speech.

Posted 11 August 2018, 6:39 p.m. Suggest removal

NoUserName says...

Geez. The right to free speech refers to the government. NOT a private employer. On company time.

Posted 11 August 2018, 6:50 p.m. Suggest removal

TimberTopper says...

NONAME, Didn't you just use your right to free speech to make your comment? If so Where's the government involved in this.

Posted 11 August 2018, 6:59 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

Last I checked, 1A applies to all Americans while in America, both those in public and private sector employ. And yes, private sector employers can terminate employees when excercising their 1A rights brings negative publicity and/or impacts profitability, as in the case of ABC and Roseanne Barr. Our 1A rights do NOT apply when we travel abroad, as those like Otto Warmbier have sometimes discovered with tragic consequences. My issue is with Trumpards and Trump himself who believe he should be free to excercise his 1A rights around the world with no pushback, either at home or abroad. The rules apply to him and his supporters.

Posted 11 August 2018, 7:32 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

DB..." I’m one of several consistently anti-racist posters here."
That is exactly what I would expect, from a racist, to post. Oh, sure, since you say your not racist, then I guess we all should assume you are not. However, the posts and statements you make are dog whistles for a racist. The number one being a statement that you are not racist.

Posted 11 August 2018, 8:05 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

DB..." what are Trump’s EMPLOYERS’ rights and means of sanctioning/controlling..."
You vote him out in 2020 or you let him run himself out after four more years. Those are your choices. So, when you vote in 2020 do not vote for Tump, if enough do this then he won't be President in not then he will be. I figured you understood basic civics, but I guess we have to expect this from the likes of you.

Posted 11 August 2018, 8:09 p.m. Suggest removal

NoUserName says...

"Didn't you just use your right to free speech to make your comment?"
Not really. The ADG is free to delete my comment with no recourse from me.

Posted 11 August 2018, 8:09 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

TT...This is not a free speech issue. There is no government actor involved, therefore you have no right to free speech. How hard is that to understand. If their bosses (the NFL and owners) decide that they can not do this or they will be fired, then your right I guess they can do it but they will be FIRED. No Constitutional right is being violated if the owners or the NFL tell them to stop. For a right to be infringed upon their MUST be a government actor.

Posted 11 August 2018, 8:12 p.m. Suggest removal

LRCrookAttorney says...

TT..."...Didn't you just use your right to free speech..."
No one tried to infringe upon NoUsers right to say what he just said. If the ADG wanted to the could: 1. Delete his post; and/or 2. take away the right to post on here indefinitely or for a period of time. ADG has that right because they are not a government actor, they are a private organization. Try to go into where you work and post something like "my boss is a douche and I hate him." It will not stay up for long because he is a private organization and NOT a government actor. You can say anything you want anytime you want, but there are consequences and even the government can infringe upon your free speech if their infringement meets certain requirements.

Posted 11 August 2018, 8:18 p.m. Suggest removal

DoubleBlind says...

I reject that anyone’s ONLY recourse is voting. Morons like Trump and his supporters who object to athletes’ silent protests didn’t ‘vote’ on their contracts. They’re raising hell in spite of the fact they have zero control over any athlete’s contract’s T/C’s. Some of us will not remain silent on Trump while he rails on the rest of us and disrespects the US. F Him. F any/everyone who suggests that as the only option. So back at you, crook: GFY.

Posted 11 August 2018, 8:49 p.m. Suggest removal

NoUserName says...

"I reject that anyone’s ONLY recourse is voting.'
Depends what you are trying to accomplish. For every person who dislikes Trump, another likes him. The way to settle that disagreement IS at the ballot box.
"Morons like Trump and his supporters who object to athletes’ silent protests didn’t ‘vote’ on their contracts. "
They vote with their wallet. And the NFL heard and presented a solution a month or two ago.
"Some of us will not remain silent on Trump while he rails on the rest of us and disrespects the US.'
You're not being asked to remain silent. NFL players aren't really either. There are many ways players can be vocal.

Posted 11 August 2018, 9:40 p.m. Suggest removal

PopMom says...


Voting may not be the ONLY recourse, but I am sick of people who complain about Trump and yet do not vote. Holding a fundraiser, volunteering, and voting are more better at effecting change than complaining and protesting. In fact, I would argue that protesting the national anthem drives voters away from the BLM movement.

Posted 12 August 2018, 6:40 a.m. Suggest removal

TimberTopper says...

LRATTY, since you have all the answers, why don't you call up Trump and the owners and let them know you can solve the whole problem, of this protest. However, it might not be as simple as you and others think it might be. NONAME, yes the ADG has this comment option, but you use the right to free speech they have given you, that is unless there is a complaint against your comment then they can decide if that comment should not be allowed, and if that is their decision, then they take that right on that comment away from you.

Posted 12 August 2018, 7:29 a.m. Suggest removal

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