The first weekend of National Football League action saw several players demonstrate during the national anthem. Most of the protests came from players who have previously participated, but several prominent activists opted not to join in for opening day.
The first day of the season arrived with a report that the NFL is not expected to implement a new policy on the national anthem this season, according to ESPN, which cited unnamed league sources. Dialogue continues, but no resolution is in sight.
The NFL approved a new anthem policy in May, but scrapped it to discuss with the Players Association after grumbling was heard from the players.
Earlier today, the only kneelers were Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson.
Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback turned Nike ad star and initiator of the kneel-down protests, saluted the two Dolphins on Instagram.
“My Brothers @kstills and @ithinkisee12 continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed!” Kaepernick wrote on Instagram. “They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward! ‘Love is at the root of our resistance!’”
Reports so far indicate Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist during the song. Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews was on the sideline after staying in the tunnel for several games last season.
San Francisco wide receiver Marquise Goodwin raised his right arm with fist clenched during the anthem at his team’s game in Minnesota.
In New York, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith Jr., who had stayed in the locker room during the anthem for the pre-season, opted to stand quietly on the sidelines for their opening game.