A number of NFL stars have risked the wrath of Donald Trump by collaborating in protests through the nationwide anthem at pre-season video games.
Franchise house owners agreed on a coverage earlier this 12 months that requires gamers to face for the Star-Spangled Banner if they’re on the sector.
On Thursday evening in Philadelphia, Eagles stars Malcolm Jenkins and De’Vante Bausby raised their fists through the anthem, and Chris Lengthy positioned his arm round Jenkins’ shoulder.
Jenkins stated they “will not let (the league) cease what we stand for”, including: “I feel it is essential to utilise the platform as we are able to as a result of for no matter motive, now we have framed this demonstration in a unfavorable mild.
“Gamers must defend why we really feel the necessity to struggle for on a regular basis Individuals, however we’re doing the precise factor.”
In Miami, Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson have been seen kneeling behind the remainder of the line-up through the anthem, as teammate Robert Quinn raised his proper fist.
Quinn stated: “As a black man on this world, I’ve acquired an obligation to lift consciousness. If nobody desires to dwell in unity, that is why we’re within the scenario we’re in.”
And in Seattle, three Seahawks gamers – Branden Jackson, Quinton Jefferson and Duane Brown – bumped into the dressing room forward of the anthem being performed and returned for the beginning of the match.
Their coach, Pete Carroll, stated he supported any particular person selections over whether or not to protest.
Additional protests passed off in Jacksonville, the place 4 gamers for the Jaguars additionally stayed within the dressing room.
Regardless of the demonstrations, an NFL spokesman stated its coverage on standing through the anthem had not modified.
Brian McCarthy added: “The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Gamers Affiliation concerning the anthem and problems with equality and social justice which are of concern to many Individuals.
“Whereas these discussions proceed, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or implementing any membership work guidelines that might lead to gamers being disciplined for his or her conduct through the efficiency of the anthem.
“In the meantime, there was no change within the NFL’s coverage concerning the nationwide anthem.
“The anthem will proceed to be performed earlier than each sport, and all participant and non-player personnel on the sector at the moment are anticipated to face through the presentation of the flag and efficiency of the anthem.
“Personnel who don’t want to take action can select to stay within the locker room.
“We stay dedicated to working with the gamers to determine options and to proceed making progress on essential social points affecting our communities.”
The most recent protests are more likely to anger Donald Trump, who reignited his row with a few of the sport’s greatest stars when he cancelled a White Home reception for the winners of the Tremendous Bowl.
The US president has not but commented on the pre-season demonstrations, which have been a characteristic of NFL video games since Colin Kaepernick started to protest publicly in opposition to police brutality in the direction of African-Individuals.