Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall kneeled before Thursday’s season opener, and the practice has since spread to colleges and high schools around the country.
On Sunday, September 11, players followed suit and received even more backlash because it was the 15-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Marcus Peters of the Kansas City Chiefs raised a black, glove-covered fist, an act reminiscent of John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics. After the game, his coach said, “There’s no question he respects … law enforcement, military; you don’t ever question that with this guy.”
Miami Dolphins players Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas, Arian Foster, and Jelani Jenkins also took a knee during the national anthem.
“They say it’s not the time to do this, when is the time? It’s never the time in somebody else’s eye, because they’ll always feel like it’s good enough,” Foster told USA Today.
The Dolphins opponents, the Seattle Seahawks, stood arm in arm to signify solidarity.
Patriots players Devin McCourty and Martellus Bennett held up their fists during the national anthem.
McCourty has family ties within the armed forces but still felt the need to protest in some way.
“I wore socks with the American flag. I believe in this country. I love this country … My father was in the Army. My older brother was in the Army. Those men and women go out there and put their life on the line. I respect that,” McCourty told ESPN.com.
The first Monday Night Football of the season starts tonight, with the Steelers battling the Redskins, so more players are sure to voice their opinions.
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