So much for the NFL and the NFLPA calling their cease fire on the topic of “National Anthem protests” and possible league and team discipline for players who do.
In Miami, there were two players who knelt and one who raised his fist. While in Jacksonville, there were four players who obeyed the owners and commissioner Roger Goodell’s edict to stay in the locker room instead of protesting.
For the Dolphins, as they both promised, WR Kenny Stills knelt and DE Robert Quinn raised his fist (above), while the anthem was sung. New teammate WR Albert Wilson also knelt for the anthem prior to the game with the Bucs. No one from Tampa Bay demonstrated.
Stills explained why he protested last night instead of staying in the tunnel:
Dolphins WR @KSTiLLS after the game: "If you continue to misinterpret what we're doing, reach out to me. Look at my website. Look at my twitter. Look at all my social media platforms. And I think you'll get a better idea of why we are doing what we are doing."
— NBC 6 Sports (@NBC6Sports) August 10, 2018
Meanwhile up I-95 in Jacksonville Thursday night, the four Jags who did not come out the anthem were DB Jalen Ramsey, LB Telvin Smith, and RBs Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon. They elected instead to stay in the tunnel before taking the field for the coin toss.
Smith, who made the Pro Bowl a year ago during the Jaguars playoff turnaround season, told the media:
Telvin Smith: ‘As a man, I’ve got to stand for something.’’ Anthem protests pic.twitter.com/oLUOxZozo9
— John Reid (@JohnReid64) August 10, 2018
There were also protests Thursday night from the Eagles Malcolm Jenkins and a couple of his teammates raising fists and three Seattle Seahawks, including defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson stayed in their tunnel, while the anthem was sung in their home game.
Ever since the owners overwhelmingly voted in their new policy for 2018 in May, there has been great debate about whether it would curtail the protesting during the anthem?
And as we wrote late last month, the Dolphins had sent notification to their players coming to camp that among other punishable offenses, demonstrating on the field during the anthem could be a player conduct offense. And, that a player could be fined or suspended, now for on field protests.. This followed Dolphins owner Stephen Ross making public statements earlier this year that he and the rest of the league wanted to move on and have the protests end.
Ross back peddled the next day, when his comments became national news and issued a statement saying players would have to choose what to do.
That’s when the league and the NFLPA quickly called a halt to the controversy boiling back over and agreed to keep meeting and discussing revising the policy. There is nothing new that has been amended to this point.
And now that the games have resumed, so too will the scrutiny and the rhetoric.
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