nfl protests-national anthem-colin kaepernick

After Donald Trump called NFL players who protest during the national anthem “sons of bitches” and disinvited NBA star Steph Curry from the White House, we knew there might be a spike in athlete activism Sunday. But it was impossible to predict just how dramatically and decisively the NFL would rise up against Trump and in support of racial justice.

Following a barrage of supportive statements from team owners, numerous players either knelt, locked arms or raised their fists during the national anthem Sunday. It was the widest demonstration since Colin Kaepernick first made headlines protesting during the anthem last fall.

Here’s something close to a full list of the pregame protests that swept the NFL on Sunday:

Jaguars vs. Ravens

Across the pond in London, the Jaguars and Ravens got the day started with mass protests on both sidelines. Several dozen players (along with former Raven Ray Lewis) knelt during the national anthem, as others either stood nearby or locked arms in a sign of unity.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan, the only Muslim owner in the NFL, stood on the sideline and locked arms with several players in solidarity.

Steelers vs. Bears

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin told CBS before the game his team would not stand on the field during the national anthem, whether to make a statement or to dodge the kneeling controversy.

It turns out there was one Steelers player on the field, veteran Alejandro Villanueva.

On the other sideline, Bears players stood arm in arm.

Patriots vs. Texans

A group of Patriots players knelt during the national anthem.

Another group, including Tom Brady, locked arms.

Here’s what wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who comes from a family of veterans, had to say about the protest.

The Texans stood with arms locked.

Saints vs. Panthers

The Panthers did not seem to protest in any noticeable way.

Quarterback Cam Newton did speak out about Trump postgame, however.

A collection of Saints players, meanwhile, sat during the anthem.

And wide receiver Brandon Coleman raised a fist after scoring a touchdown.

Falcons vs. Lions

Two Falcons players knelt during the national anthem, as did eight Lions counterparts.

Detroit’s anthem singer got in on the protests, taking a knee and raising a fist when the song was over.

Giants vs. Eagles

Philadelphia players, along with owner Jeffrey Lurie, stood arm in arm, and several others raised their fists as well. A couple New York players knelt or supported those who were kneeling.

Odell Beckham Jr. raised his first after a fourth-quarter touchdown.

Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison explained his reason for protesting on Twitter.

Later, Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins called Trump a “troll.”

Dolphins vs. Jets

Some Dolphins players wore “#IMWITHKAP” t-shirts during warm-ups.

A few Dolphins knelt during the anthem, while others locked arms.

Dolphins safety Michael Thomas got emotional talking about Trump after the game.

The Jets locked arms.

Buccaneers vs. Vikings

Two of the Bucs’ biggest names, Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, knelt during the anthem on Sunday.

Here’s Jackson talking about his decision afterward:

On the other sideline, the Vikings locked arms.

Browns vs. Colts

Cleveland had a whole bunch of players taking a knee.

The Colts also had a large contingent of protesting players.

Broncos vs. Bills

The Broncos had maybe the most players kneeling of any team. The group included Von Miller, who became arguably the most accomplished player to protest in this way.


After the game, Miller called Trump’s comments “an attack on the National Football League.”

Numerous Bills players knelt as well.

Buffalo running back LeSean McCoy simply continued stretching, as if nothing were going on.

Seahawks vs. Titans

The Seahawks have announced they will not take the field for the national anthem as protest against “the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country.”

Seattle’s opponent, the Tennessee Titans, will also stay in the locker room during the anthem.

The field was entirely barren of players.

The anthem singer took a knee after the song.

Chargers vs. Chiefs

One Chargers player knelt, while others sat on the bench during the anthem. The rest of the roster locked arms.

Several Chiefs players including Justin Houston and Travis Kelce knelt or sat, either on the bench or on the sideline.

Packers vs. Bengals

Martellus Bennett was among the Packers players to sit or kneel during the anthem. Others stood arm in arm.

Some Bengals locked arms, but none appeared to kneel.

Raiders vs. Redskins

A few Redskins players including Jamison Crowder took a knee. The rest of the team locked arms, including owner Daniel Snyder. The Redskins tweeted a statement right after the anthem.

Almost every member of the Raiders sat on the bench during the anthem. One notable person standing was quarterback Derek Carr. Owner Mark Davis was in a suite standing with his hand over his heart.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

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