Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
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NFL players kneel, raise fists or sit out National Anthem

NFL players kneel, raise fists or sit out National Anthem

A pair of Miami Dolphins football players took a knee during the national anthem before the team's preseason opener on Thursday.

Wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson both kneeled while defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist before the Fins took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

It was a show of solidarity with the ongoing protests against police brutality and racial injustice, launched by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and banned by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in May.

The NFL's regular season is a month away, but players are already defying the league's new policy banning peaceful protests during the national anthem.

As a black man in this world I've got an obligation to raise awareness' Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn said of protesting during the anthem. If no one wants to live in unity that's why we're in the situation we're

A dozen games were played Thursday night.

Some players held their fists in the air, while others chose to kneel, despite the controversy surrounding the action.

Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett, a frequent protestor past year when he played for the Seattle Seahawks, walked out of the tunnel as the anthem played. Players who do not want to stand during the anthem are allowed to remain in the locker room (or in the tunnel) without facing punishment. Eagles defensive end Chris Long put his arm around Jenkins in a sign of support - just like he did last season. The anthem will continue to be played before every game, and all player and non-player personnel on the field at that time are expected to stand during the presentation of the flag and performance of the anthem.

Their actions came weeks after the league shelved its new policy regarding conduct surrounding the anthem until it reaches an agreement with the NFL Players Association.

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