Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

NFL players kneel during national anthem before first preseason game

NFL players kneel during national anthem before first preseason game

It happened before the Dolphins game against the Buccaneers, and former Chief Albert Wilson was one of the players who took a knee.

The NFL issued a statement Thursday night saying they will continue to play the anthem before games.

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. Eagles defensive end Chris Long put his arm around Jenkins in a sign of support - just like he did last season.

The Giants opened their preseason at home against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, and Big Blue defensive lineman A.J. Francis raised his fist at the end of the anthem, NJ.com reported.

Stills kneeled during the anthem in the 2016-17 seasons and has been vocal discussing social injustice issues that inspired the protest movement by National Football League players.

The anthem controversy has been rumbling since 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the anthem to draw attention to racial injustice.

Team owner Stephen Ross has said he would like his players to stand for the anthem, and the NFL recently suspended its rule regarding anthem protests until the league and players union can come to terms on a policy.

Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett, a frequent protestor a year ago when he played for the Seattle Seahawks, walked out of the tunnel as the anthem played.

Stills has routinely knelt for the anthem during his time with the team. The growing popularity of the peaceful protest particularly angered President Donald Trump, who said the act was unpatriotic and called for participating players to be fired.

The NFL introduced a new national anthem policy this season.

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