Despite the NFL making it clear the organization is not here for peaceful protesting from players during the national anthem, players made it even more crystal they won't be stopping their right to do so anytime soon.
The NFL tried it back in May with the announcement of policies against the #TakeAKnee movement during the 2018-2019 season.
"This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed," the official NFL statement read. "We believe today's decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it — and on our fans who enjoy it."
After continuous backlash, the NFL announced it would be temporarily suspending the controversial policies. If the league thought the plan would send a message to players, the preseason kickoff on Thursday, August 9, seemed to imply the exact opposite.
According to CNN, players throughout the league showcased their solidarity by either continuing to take a knee, raise a fist, or refuse to hit the field as the anthem played.
Started in 2016 by Colin Kaepernick, the #TakeAKnee movement was meant to create awareness for social and racial injustices in America. Instead, many including 45, missed the whole point and morphed it into an issue of protesting the anthem. Taking a knee has seemingly left Kaepernick and his former teammate Eric Reid blackballed by the league. However, those warning shots will not stop the show.
Players for the defending Superbowl champs, the Philadelphia Eagles, made their voices heard without saying a word. Captain Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De'Vante Bausby raised their fists during the anthem, according to CNN. Defensive end Michael Bennett walked out of the tunnel Thursday during the song and headed straight for the bench.
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
America. We are the anomalies... pic.twitter.com/gCeNKuTl1d
The protests didn't stop in the city of brotherly love. Down in Miami, wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson reportedly knelt during the anthem while defensive end Robert Quinn, like Jenkins, raised his fist. Jacksonville Jaguars players Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith, Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon avoided the field during the anthem, according to ESPN.
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
📸 @footcandles#imwithkap #imwithereid #takeaknee pic.twitter.com/LimoadfUcW
Donald Trump would be remiss if he didn't throw in his two cents about the players' choice to act on their rights:
.....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
As long as injustices in this country prevail, so will peaceful protesting.
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