Last year, President Trump condemned players who refused to stand for the anthem, calling for fans to boycott National Football League games unless teams did something to stop the protests.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins resumed his protest against social inequality by raising his fist during the national anthem prior to Thursday's preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. There were no apparent protests by the Buccaneers.
"My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee". The Daily News said Eagles captain Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De'Vante Bausby raised their fists.
Eagles, 'Fins players protest during anthem
The NFL issued a statement Thursday night saying they will continue to play the anthem before games. Individual teams would be responsible for disciplining any demonstrators. "You know what I mean?"
"Personnel who do not wish to do so can choose to remain in the locker room", the league added.
In Florida, Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith, Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon of the Jacksonville Jaguars did not show up on the field before their game against the New Orleans Saints until after the anthem was over, according to Florida-Times Union reporter Phillip Heilman.
The protest controversy began in 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the rendition of the anthem to call attention to injustices faced by people of color, particularly at the hands of the police.
"We remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issues affecting our communities".
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