Several NFL players protest national anthem during pre-season games
Kenny Stills and two other Miami Dolphins protested during the national anthem before Thursday's exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Receivers Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled behind teammates lined up standing along the sideline. Defensive end Robert Quinn stood and raised his right fist, as he did during the anthem last season with the Los Angeles Rams.
There were no apparent demonstrations by the Buccaneers.
Stills kneeled during the anthem in the 2016-17 seasons and has been vocal discussing social injustice issues that inspired the protest movement by NFL players.
In Philadelphia, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, a longtime advocate on social issues, and defensive back De'Vante Bausby held up their fists while standing on the sideline with their teammates before the game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers. Defensive end Chris Long put his arm on Jenkins' back, a sign of solidarity he began last season.
Later, Seahawks' defensive linemen Branden Jackson and Quinton Jefferson, and offensive lineman Duane Brown left the field following team introductions and before the start of the anthem. They returned to the sideline immediately after it concluded. All three were among a group of Seattle players that sat during the anthem last season.
There were no other actions by either Seattle or Indianapolis players during the performance of anthem.
The league and the players' union have yet to announce a policy for this season regarding demonstrations during the anthem after the league initially ordered everyone to stand on the sideline when "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played, or remain in the locker room. The Dolphins issued a statement before training camp saying all options regarding the team's policy remain open.
"The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans," league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email. "While those discussions continue, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem.
"Meanwhile, there has been no change in the NFL's policy regarding the national anthem. 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. Personnel who do not wish to do so can choose to remain in the locker room.
"We remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issues affecting our communities."