Numerous NFL Players Kneel in Protest During Games, Trump Responds
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced the team will stay in the locker room during the anthem.
Numerous NFL players on Sunday demonstrated during the national anthem in protest of President Donald Trump's comments against the league and its players this weekend. Two teams kneeled early when the Baltimore Ravens faced the Jacksonville Jaguars in England, and the Pittsburgh Steelers remained in their locker room at their game against the Chicago Bears.
All players and staff on both the Ravens and the Jaguars linked arms. A number of players on both teams also took a knee during the national anthem. Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan joined his players on the field. Many other players have been performing the same actions on the field in support.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told CBS Sports the team would not be participating in the national anthem on Sunday when they took on the Bears in Chicago. The Steelers remained in the locker room, while Tomlin took to the field during the anthem.
The Seattle Seahawks also announced the team would not participate in the national anthem. And the Tennessee Titans would do the same, according to the Associated Press.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady locked arms with his teammates during the anthem before their game against the Houston Texans. Brady also shared his support for the NFL in a Facebook post of a photo of himself and teammate James White with the caption, "Strength. Passion. Love. Brotherhood. Team. Unity. Commitment. Dedication. Determination. Loyalty. Work. #nflplayer."
President Trump responded Sunday to the NFL's actions, tweeting, "Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!" Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey shortly responded, tweeting, "This isn't about ratings."
Over the weekend, NFL players blasted the president for comments he made about those who protest the national anthem.
The NFL and players' union pushed back against Trump's remarks, defending players rights to peacefully protest. Multiple team owners also defended their players' rights.
The president refused to back down, tweeting multiple times over Saturday and Sunday that any player kneeling during the anthem should be fired.
The showdown may lead even more players to protest via gestures on the field, which would put the league and the broadcasters that show games in an awkward position.
Last season, free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to sit out the national anthem in protest of the treatment of African-Americans in America, especially at the hands of police officers.
Since then, numerous other players have protested in similar fashion. While some teams were said to be interested, no one picked up Kaepernick's contract this season, which some NFL insiders said may be due to his actions.
Miami Dolphins players were seen on the field during warmups Sunday morning wearing black #IMWITHKAP t-shirts in support of Kaepernick.
Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
This isn’t about ratings https://t.co/cbmED38i7N— jack (@jack) September 24, 2017
Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan: pic.twitter.com/aMO8cHDWYb— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 24, 2017
Players continue to protest. pic.twitter.com/OiLQdt20mh— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) September 24, 2017
A large group of Patriots players knelt during the national anthem. Others, including Tom Brady, linked arms. pic.twitter.com/aNsNCcTFV1— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) September 24, 2017
Anthem singers in Titans/Seahawks game take a knee while both teams remain in the locker room for national anthem. pic.twitter.com/FY8QizvSCF— Nick Short (@PoliticalShort) September 24, 2017