When President Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out. He’s fired!'” on Friday in Alabama, I’m sure most of us were thinking (perhaps minus the language), that’s an obvious “YES” answer!
But the NFL players didn’t quite see it that way. Trump’s words were twisted so they saw it as an attack on the league as a whole and black players specifically. Or they were offended for their mothers. Or they didn’t like Trump. Whatever it was, it made the NFL implode in just one quick Sunday.
Sunday, September 24, 2017’s NFL gameday started across the pond in London (why the NFL plays several games in London, I will never understand, that’s a whole ‘nother reason the league is dying), where a large segment of Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguar players disrespected the National Anthem on foreign soil by kneeling when it was played. They stood when “God Save the Queen” came on, natch.
The day only got worse from there stateside. All told, by the end of the night, probably about 300 players refused to honor America by standing for our National Anthem.
What happened? Who did and who didn’t? We’ve got the definitive list of which teams and players stood, sat, or didn’t show up at all during Week 3 of the NFL season. Check it out:
Linked Arms and Stood
New York Jets
2 Atlanta Falcons
3 New York Giants
3 Green Bay Packers
5 Miami Dolphins
7 Washington Redskins
8 Detroit Lions
≥9 Indianapolis Colts
10 New Orleans Saints*
≥11 Buffalo Bills*
≥13 Baltimore Ravens
≥14 Jacksonville Jaguars
17 New England Patriots
21 Cleveland Browns
32 Denver Broncos
<50 Oakland Raiders
Players Stayed in Locker room
52 Pittsburgh Steelers*
53 Tennessee Titans
53 Seattle Seahawks
Atlanta Falcons: (2) Grady Jarrett and Dontari Poe
New York Giants: (3) Olivier Vernon, Landon Collins and Damon Harrison
Green Bay Packers: (3) Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks and Kevin King
Miami Dolphins: (5) Kenny Stills, Jarvis Landry, Maurice Smith, Laremy Tunsil and Julius Thomas
Washington Redskins: (7) Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Brian Quick, Niles Paul, Chris Carter, Ryan Anderson, and Jordan Reed.
Detroit Lions: (8) Ameer Abdullah, Tahir Whitehead, A’Shawn Robinson, Cornelius Washington, Akeem Spence, Jeremiah Ledbetter, Steve Longa and Jalen Reeves-Maybin.
Oh, and the National Anthem singer:
The national anthem in Detroit ended on one knee pic.twitter.com/7Fi3wSjHSb
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 24, 2017
Indianapolis Colts: (≥9) Including Darius Butler, Malik Hooker, Matt Hazel, Kamar Aiken, Marlon Mack, Al Woods and Rashaan Melvin.
Colts fans booed their home team and visiting Browns who kneeled.
New Orleans Saints: (10) Rafael Bush, Kenny Vaccaro, Chris Banjo, Sheldon Rankins, Alex Okafor, Cameron Jordan, Adrian Peterson, Alvin Kamara, Brandon Coleman and Mark Ingram. Terron Armstead stayed in the locker room in protest.
Buffalo Bills: (≥11) including Marcell Dareus, Shaq Lawson, Ryan Davis, Lorenzo Alexander, Jordan Matthews, Shareece Wright, Mike Tolbert, Charles Clay, Leonard Johnson, Cedric Thornton and Kaelin Clay.
*Somehow Buffalo Bills Running Back LeSean McCoy managed to make the protest worse. Instead of quietly kneeling to make a point like the others, he ignored the Anthem completely and kept warming up.
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) September 24, 2017
McCoy ripped Kaepernick a few weeks back for not being good enough. Apparently he thinks his own value to the team outweighs the huge distraction he’s become a part of.
Baltimore Ravens: (≥13) Mike Wallace, Terrell Suggs, Matthew Judon, Za’Darius Smith, Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams, C.J. Mosley, Carl Davis, Anthony Levine, Lardarius Webb, Marlon Humphrey, Tony Jefferson and Willie Henry. Former Ravens great Ray Lewis was also there and knelt with the players.
This was the first protest of the day which took place in London. When I watched the video of the scene it was the first time the Anthem has ever made me want to cry from something other than love and pride of country.
— AlexaShrugged (@AlexaShrugged) September 24, 2017
Jacksonville Jaguars: (≥14) including Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, A.J. Bouye, Dante Fowler, Dawuane Smoot, Eli Ankou, Abry Jones, Sheldon Day, Myles Jack, Leonard Fournette, Tyler Patmon and Yannick Ngakoue.
New England Patriots: (17) James White, Stephon Gilmore, Brandin Cooks, Lawrence Guy, Alan Branch, Malcom Brown, Malcolm Butler, Brandon Bolden, Devin McCourty, Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise, Jonathan Jones, Elandon Roberts, Duron Harmon, Adam Butler, Jordan Richards, and Johnson Bademosi.
While the opposing Houston Texans all stood with linked arms, the home team was soundly booed by the crowd for the players who knelt.
One of the players who took a knee said, “We were all obviously conflicted. We knew our message would be perceived by a lot of people in a way that wasn’t what we were trying to put out.” Which begs the obvious question, why do it at all if you knew your message wasn’t getting out in the right way and would upset people?!
Back in the pre-season some Browns players started kneeling during the Anthem, but former Browns Hall of Famer Jim Brown quickly set them straight. I’m not sure Brown will be enough this time around.
Denver Broncos: (32) including stars Brandon Marshall, Jamaal Charles, Demaryius Thomas and Von Miller.
Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who claimed to have defended Trump in the past and ran out onto the field with the American flag at the home opener, typified how clueless these players really are:
“We decided to take a knee. It didn’t have anything to do with what the flag meant to me, it had absolutely nothing to do with that,” the wide receiver said after the game. “It’s the fact that our president is sitting up there saying words that he shouldn’t be using and calling guys words that he shouldn’t be using because you’re the leader of the United States, that’s just not right. I decided to take a knee on that … He shouldn’t be treating guys like that if you’re standing up for a cause that they believe in.”
It’s pretty easy, if “it didn’t have anything to do with what the flag meant to me” you then find something else and don’t protest the National Anthem and flag!
Oakland Raiders: (<50) So many Raiders sat on the bench during the National Anthem (the AP estimated about 50 players) that it’s easier to tell you the names of some of the players who stood: Derek Carr, Cory James, Nicholas Morrow and Jon Condo.
Apparently the Raiders wanted to stay in the locker room for the Anthem but the timing of the national Sunday night game meant they wouldn’t get to the field in time for the coin toss and would have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. I’m half surprised they didn’t just do that – they’re already sabotaging themselves anyway with these antics.
Pittsburgh Steelers: (52) *When the rest of the team elected to skip out on the National Anthem and hide in the locker room, one hero had the courage to stand up. Alejandro Villanueva, a veteran Army Ranger who served 3 tours in Afghanistan, stepped out of the tunnel with his hand over his heart for the Star-Spangled Banner.
It was a powerful moment in an otherwise dreary day that was much appreciated. The offensive lineman’s jersey shot up to be the 6th most popular on Fanatics.com within hours.
The entire Pittsburgh Steelers team stayed in the locker room for national anthem except for Villanueva who served 3 tours in Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/6kvGDls8wQ
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) September 24, 2017
There was a bizarre situation at the Tennessee Titans vs. Seattle Seahawks game. Neither team came out for the National Anthem, but the National Anthem singer took a knee.
Tennessee Titans: (53)
The Titans, who were home, put out a very brief statement, they clearly wanted to wash their hands of the politics of all this:
As a team, we wanted to be unified in our actions today. The players jointly decided this was the best course of action. Our commitment to the military and our community is resolute and the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn’t be misconstrued as unpatriotic.
Seattle Seahawks: (53)
Meanwhile the Seahawks players went all Social Justice Warrior in theirs and made it clear it was entirely political:
As a team, we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem. We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We remain committed in continuing to work towards equality and justice for all.
— Seattle Seahawks (@seahawksPR) September 24, 2017
So, there you have it! Time to let the players, teams, owners, sponsors, and the NFL know what you think of their blatant show of disrespect.
What do you think – are you going to boycott the NFL over the widespread National Anthem protests? Tell us in the comments below!