The morning after a handful of N.F.L. the players renewed their protests against social inequality and police brutality by raising their fists or kneeling during the execution of the national anthem, President Trump renewed his criticism
The NFL's Preseason 2018 Thursday started with the first full on the list of games and the question that has haunted the championship throughout the summer – the players will continue the protests of social justice during the execution of the national anthem – it was answered loud and clear.
Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles, one of the most outspoken players in recent years, was joined by his teammate, De & Vante Bausby, raising a punch while the anthem was played. As was customary in the past, Chris Long, a defending veteran, stopped beside Jenkins with a hand on his defensive shoulder.
President Trump, who voiced his opposition to using the anthem as a protest stage, responded on Friday morning with a couple of tweets that blew up Jenkins, Stills, and others who were not on the stage. # 39; careful.
Stills and Wilson received praise on social media from Colin Kaepernick, the inactive player whose protests as a member of the San Francisco 49ers began this movement.
Stills told reporters after the game that he and Wilson had not coordinated a demonstration before the game.
"It just happened that way," Stills said. "When I'm on one knee, most of the time I'm praying, and I thank God for having Albert next to me." Being part of this protest was not easy, I thought I was out there alone, today I had an angel with me with Albert out there I'm grateful to see what's going on, and he also wants to do something about it. "
Elsewhere, four members of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Telvin Smith, Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Fournette, and TJ Yeldon) waited in the tunnel until after the hymn had ended before their team's game against the New Orleans Saints, and three members of the Seattle Seahawks (Quinton Jefferson, Branden Jackson and Duane Brown) did the same before their team's game against the Indianapolis Colts.
In a notable However, the 49ers, who had been one of the most active political teams in previous years, did not seem to have players kneeling during the anthem before their game against the Dallas Cowboys. Marquise Goodwin, a large receiver, had his right arm raised for the duration of the song.
For Jenkins, who had stopped demonstrating last season after he and a coalition of players had secured more funding for the league's social issues, the preseason game represented a return to its old form. In addition to raising his fist, Jenkins and some of his teammates on the reigning champion Eagles take to the field for warm-up wearing T-shirts that highlight various statistics on racial disparities in prisons .
That Jenkins went back to the rally was not surprising after his strong reaction to recent changes in league politics regarding behavior during the anthem.
"Frankly, the guys in our league do not like being told what to do, what they can and can" Jenkins told Philly.com. "We do not have this kind of policies for the other causes we support, whether it's our" Health at the service ", or the awareness of breast cancer or anything else, it's only when you start talking about people of color, frankly It is discouraging, but we will continue to be creative. "
The protests came less than three months after the league, without consulting the players' union, updated its rules to force players to stay on the court during the national anthem, or stay in the locker room. Previously, players were forced to stay in the field, but were encouraged to resist.
In the last two seasons, dozens of players throughout the league have protested during the anthem to raise awareness of social injustice and police brutality against blacks. The protests turned into a real crisis for the league last September when President Trump criticized the owners of the league not to penalize the protesting players.
In response to the backlash of the president and some fans, the league has tightened its policy, which now includes potential fines against teams whose players protest. The league has allowed the teams to decide for themselves if they want to penalize the players directly.
It is unclear whether Thursday's protests will continue in the weeks to come. Some players may have simply wanted to show their disappointment with the new policy, while others may have wanted to oppose President Trump.
No player protested when the N.F.L. he began his 2018 season last week, when the Baltimore Ravens and the Chicago Bears played in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
During the summer, players from all over the league said they were against the new championship policy. Some players, in particular the defensive equipment Jurrell Casey of the Tennessee Titans, said they would continue to protest and pay any fines if necessary.
At the same time, the teams published their own proclamations. Last month, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, said he expected everyone on his team to run for the anthem and not stay in the locker room. His son, Stephen, added that players who did not follow the team directive would be cut off.
Cornerback Richard Sherman of the San Francisco 49ers accused Jerry Jones of having a "planting mentality".
Other owners have been more conciliatory. Jed York, whose family owns the San Francisco 49ers, abstained from voting on the new policy. Chris Johnson, the reciting owner of the Jets, said the players who protested would not be penalized.
In Florida, the Miami Dolphins trainer Adam Gase said he would not discuss the hymn problem with his players and does not want to be caught between the owner's rules and the players.
"I'm training football," he told the Palm Beach Post. "I'm not dealing with all this."
Players who protested on Thursday can not be penalized. After the N.F.L. The Players' Association filed a complaint in July claiming that the new policy violated the NFL collective agreement, the league has agreed to freeze policy enforcement as it seeks to work out a potential settlement with the union.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick the player who was the first to protest in 2016, did not return to the NFL. He filed a claim against the league, accusing the conspiracy owners of keeping him out of work.
The league seems to be doing everything to suppress any hint of protest. According to Pro Football Talk, Electronic Arts, which makes the video game Madden, has deleted the name of Kaepernick, along with various bad words, from the song "Big Bank" by YG, which acts as the soundtrack of the videogame. Later, Electronic Arts declared that the cancellation was a bad communication on the company's ability to reproduce the similarity of Kaepernick in the game, and the company promised to restore the references to its name.
Eric Reid, Kaepernick's teammate on the 49ers who knelt regularly while playing the national anthem in 2016 and 2017, is also unsigned. He also filed a claim against the league.