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Week 8: Guide To NFL Players Who Protested During National Anthem

The majority of Houston Texans players took a knee during the anthem after their team owner, Bob McNair, reportedly said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” during a meeting between owners and players.

McNair’s comment infuriated players, and several players considered a walkout in protest. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins left practice before the weekend in protest.

Rookie running back  D’Onta Foreman told the Houston Chronicle, even after McNair issued a statement, “I still feel like some things shouldn’t be said, but you got to deal with it. I was upset. I feel like my family that’s been supporting the Texans since they started the franchise and me growing up watching this franchise, a comment like that is definitely going to hit home with me.”

“I have a daughter. Even though she’s young, that’s something you got to stand on morals and principles. I was brought up like that. You have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. I want to be here. I love my teammates,” Foreman added.

The kneeling came in a matchup with the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle, which has had numerous players lead protests over the past weeks. Defensive end Michael Bennett, along with others took a knee during the anthem, and later in the game, Bennett took a knee again as he celebrated a sack.

Bennett raised a fist in a black power salute in September. He has turned his celebrations into opportunities to show solidarity with oppressed people.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who is one of the co-founders of The Players Coalition, said owners did not accept an invitation to meet with players. They were to discuss “social justice initiatives” so some of the players involved in protesting can move beyond kneeling.

Taking a knee started with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the 2016 preseason. He declared, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” (He was referring to police who gun down black men and face nearly zero consequences for their actions.)

NFL owners blackballed Kaepernick. Several of them donated to Trump’s inaugural committee or his presidential campaign.

There are larger systemic issues—like police brutality and racism—motivating the players’ protest, but a few players, like Bennett, say they must also show solidarity with Kaepernick. “The first step to even being able to even have a conversation is making sure that Colin Kaepernick gets an opportunity to play in the NFL.”

Below is a guide to all the individual NFL players who took action in Week 8:

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals had a bye week.

Atlanta Falcons

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Baltimore Ravens

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Buffalo Bills

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.



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

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Cleveland Browns

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Dallas Cowboys

Players Who Took A Knee: Owner Jerry Jones does not tolerate any players taking a knee on his team. However, defensive tackle David Irving raised his fist at the end of the anthem again.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos play in the Monday Night Football game.

Detroit Lions

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers had a bye week.

Houston Texans

Players Who Took A Knee: Most of the players took a knee during the anthem in response to Texans owner Bob McNair’s comment about not letting the “inmates” run the “prison.”

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: Most players locked arms together.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a bye week.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs play in the Monday Night Football game.

Los Angeles Chargers

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported, but for the third week in a row, left tackle Russell Okung raised a fist while standing.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams had a bye week.

Miami Dolphins

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported, but wide receiver Kenny Stills, tight end Julius Thomas, and defensive back Michael Thomas once again remained off the field until the anthem finished. They face a rule imposed by the team’s management that requires players to stand.

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: None reported.

New Orleans Saints

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported, but before the anthem, many Saints players took a knee to show they have unity. This has been the owners’ way of showing protests will not divide their team.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

New York Giants

The New York Giants had a bye week.

New York Jets

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Oakland Raiders

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

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: Safety Eric Reid led a group of 49ers players, who took a knee. The group included safety Adrian Colbert, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, and linebacker Eli Harold.

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Seattle Seahawks

Players Who Took A Knee: Offensive linemen Oday Aboushi and Justin Britt, defensive ends Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Frank Clark, Branden Jackson, and Quinton Jefferson, defensive tackles Nazair Jones, Jarran Reed, and Sheldon Richardson, and linebackers Marcus Smith and Michael Wilhoite knelt. Bennett also took a knee after he recorded a sack in the first quarter.

Players Who Sat: None reported

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans had a bye week.

Washington Redskins

Players Who Took A Knee: None reported

Players Who Sat: None reported.

Players Who Locked Arms: None reported.

 

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Photo via @Milli4Prisoners on Twitter.
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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."