Last night marked the first full week of the 2018 preseason for the National Football League, but a continuation of a long-standing problem – players kneeling and raising fists during the National Anthem.
The Miami Dolphins saw three players engage in a disrespectful display during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” something that is still technically a violation of league policy. (RELATED: NFL Players File Grievance Over National Anthem Policy – ‘Infringes On Our Rights’).
Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, a pair of wide receivers for the Dolphins, kneeled behind teammates who were lined up along the sideline, while defensive end Robert Quinn stood and raised his right fist.
“As a black man in this world, I’ve got an obligation to raise awareness,” Quinn said after the game, a 26-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “If no one wants to live in unity, that’s why we’re in the situation we’re in.”
Dolphins players Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, Robert Quinn protest during the anthem https://t.co/HkAgJhjJMz
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 10, 2018
Colin Kaepernick, the man who started the disgusting act of spitting on the service of our military, our veterans, and disrespecting the flag and the nation that allows them to make millions in peace, offered his support for the protesters.
My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee. Albert Wilson @iThinkIsee12 joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!✊🏾
📸 @footcandles#imwithkap #imwithereid #takeaknee pic.twitter.com/LimoadfUcW
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) August 10, 2018
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, home of the Super Bowl champions who were told by President Trump to stay home rather than be honored by the White House, more fists were raised in protest.
Malcolm Jenkins who said he would boycott a trip to the White House regardless was one of those players. He was joined by defensive back De’Vante Bausby, and defensive end Chris Long who put his arm around Jenkins. Long did that much of last season, unable to commit to a protest but still wanting to draw attention to himself.
Malcolm Jenkins held his fist in the air in the during the national anthem. He had stopped last December. Chris Long had his arm around Jenkins.
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) August 9, 2018
Michael Bennett the team’s defensive end and a man who lied about experiencing police brutality and racial profiling when he ran out of a nightclub shooting in Las Vegas, sauntered out onto the field while the anthem played.
Malcolm Jenkins and De’Vante Bausby raised their fists during the anthem. Michael Bennett walked out of the tunnel during the anthem and spent the anthem walking toward the bench. Chris Long placed his arm around Jenkins’ shoulder.
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) August 9, 2018
President Trump blasted the players in a Friday morning tweet, insisting they “should be standing proudly for the National Anthem.”
The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
…..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
The league issued a statement about the preseason protests and in typical fashion waffled between putting their foot down and allowing the ‘inmates to run the asylum.’
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
The NFL has made the problem infinitely worse – at first doing nothing about the kneeling, then creating a new policy, and eventually backing off if it.
In May, they instituted a new policy that essentially said if you’re on the field when the anthem is playing, you better stand.
Shortly thereafter, the NFL Players Association filed a lawsuit saying standing for the anthem and respecting the flag “infringes” on their rights.
The league folded almost immediately, announcing they’d suspend the new policy while negotiating with the NFLPA.
While a select few players decided to continue embarrassing themselves last night, one player has stood out by contrast as a man who courageously defends the National Anthem – Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Dak Prescott.
“I never protest during the anthem, and I don’t think that’s the time or the venue to do so,” he said.
Dak added, “I’ve always believed standing up for what I believe in, and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) July 28, 2018
Meanwhile, legendary Cleveland Browns running back and actual civil rights activist Jim Brown said he would always choose to stand for the National Anthem and would prefer it if today’s NFL players would do the same.
They don’t appear to be listening and the NFL will surely see their ratings continue to plummet this season as a result.