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Week 6: Guide To NFL Players Who Protested During National Anthem

Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who started the movement of taking a knee during the anthem, filed a “grievance” against the National Football League. He alleged owners colluded to prevent him from playing another NFL game because he engaged in protest.

“If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest — which the owners themselves made great theater imitating weeks ago — should not be punished,” one of his attorneys, Mark Geragos, said in a posted statement. “And athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the executive branch of our government. Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation.”

After Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was injured, Kaepernick sought to join the team to start as a temporary backup. His representatives contacted the team, but ultimately, Kaepernick was denied the opportunity, as the team went with Brandon Weeden.

While there were many less players protesting in Week 6, they continued with a core group that remains committed to expression, even as owners and coaches move to incorporate rules that could impose consequences on players who speak out.

For example, three Dolphins players—Kenny Stills, Julius Thomas, and Michael Thomas—remained in the tunnel (again) during the anthem because the coach has adopted a rule requiring players to stand.

Players protesting also received support once more from a national anthem singer, as Jessica Sanchez, a former “American Idol” star, took a knee after she sang at the Los Angles Chargers-Oakland Raiders game. And players on Hertha Berlin, a German soccer team, all took a knee, including coaches, managers, and staff, against racism.

NFL owners and league management are expected to have a meeting with NFL Players Association representatives to discuss standing during the anthem.

Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who has raised his fist and taken a knee during games this season and last season, was asked if he had any interest in being a part of that meeting. He told media that he did not think the owners wanted players in the room.

“We have a voice and sometimes it could be to the detriment of what they want to accomplish. So we get in there and we start speaking and start doing this and it’ll be too much riff or too many arguments,” Marshall declared. “But our agenda is not what their agenda is. Their agenda is the business, continuing to making money.”

“The NFL makes the most money of any sport — that’s their agenda. Our agenda is — we love to play. We love to play and we want to get paid, but at the same time, if we have a platform, we have a voice, and if we feel strongly about something, we want to use that. But they’ve been honest. They don’t care about that.”

Below is a guide to all the individual players and teams that took action in Week 6:

Arizona Cardinals

Players Who Took a Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Atlanta Falcons

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: Most players linked arms.

Baltimore Ravens

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Buffalo Bills

This was a bye week for the Buffalo Bills.



Carolina Panthers

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Chicago Bears

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Cincinnati Bengals

This was a bye week for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cleveland Browns

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Dallas Cowboys

This was a bye week for the Dallas Cowboys.

Denver Broncos

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Detroit Lions

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: For a second week, most Lions players linked arms.

Green Bay Packers

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: Most players linked arms during the anthem, as they have for the past three weeks.

Houston Texans

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Indianapolis Colts

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Kansas City Chiefs

Players Who Took A Knee: Cornerback Marcus Peters

Players Who Sat: Linebacker Ukeme Eligwe

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Los Angeles Chargers

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported, but left tackle Russell Okung raised a fist while standing.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Los Angeles Rams

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Miami Dolphins

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported, but wide receiver Kenny Stills, tight end Julius Thomas, and defensive back Michael Thomas remained off the field until the anthem was over. All three remained off the field in Week 5 and now their act may carry further repercussions because Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and coach Adam Gase have instructed players to stand during the anthem so as not to be seen as “unpatriotic.”

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Minnesota Vikings

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

New England Patriots

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: Players continued to put one hand on their heart and the other on a player next to them, which they’ve done for consecutive weeks.

New Orleans Saints

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

New York Giants

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

New York Jets

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: Most players reportedly linked arms.

Oakland Raiders

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: Running back Marshawn Lynch sat during the anthem, as he did for the past couple weeks.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Philadelphia Eagles

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported, but safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod held their right fists up in the air during the anthem. Defensive end Chris Long once again had his arm on Jenkins as a show of solidarity. They have done this for multiple weeks. (Jenkins has done this since Week 2 of last season.)

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

San Francisco 49ers

Players Who Took A Knee: Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, defensive back Adrian Colbert, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, linebacker Eli Harold, safety Eric Reid, and cornerback K’Waun Williams

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Seattle Seahawks

This was a bye week for the Seattle Seahawks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Tennessee Titans

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported, but wide receiver Rishard Matthews stayed in the tunnel for the third time this season as a show of protest and because the coaches and management do not want players to individually kneel.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Washington Redskins

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

***

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."