Week 2 of NFL preseason saw continued national anthem protests. Numerous NFL players are sitting out (Michael Bennett from Seattle Seahawks) or rising their fists (Cameron Jefferson from Buffalo Bills) during the national anthem as their way to show protest against social injustice. ESPN reported that Monday’s game between New York Giants and Cleveland Browns saw more than 10 players taking the knee behind the bench with several other players holding their hands on their shoulders as a way of support. Tight end Seth DeValve was among the players who protested, becoming the first white player to do so. After the game, rookie Jabrill Peppers gave the following statement:
“There’s a lot of racial and social injustices in the world that are going on right now. We just decided to take a knee and pray for the people who have been affected and just pray for the world in general.”
Christian Kirksey, Browns linebacker added: “We did it out of respect. No disrespect to anyone, we just felt like it was the right time and the need to do it.”
The National Anthem Protests began in 2016 when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the playing of the national anthem before the 2016 preseason game against Green Bay Packers. It was his protest against ” wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.” Several other NFL players joined Kaepernick in the protests during the regular season. This also spread to other sports. Kaepernick’s actions were met with mixed reactions, and some argue that the protests are one of the reasons why he still remains a free agent after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.