NFL players kneel, raise fists or sit out National Anthem as pre - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

NFL players kneel, raise fists or sit out National Anthem as preseason gets underway

Posted: Updated:
File/MGN photos File/MGN photos

(CNN) -- The NFL's warmup games are in full swing -- and the National Anthem protests are back.

Several players on Thursday took a knee, raised a fist or did not take to the field while the anthem was played before a dozen games, as the league's first full week of preseason contests kicked off.

This comes just a month after the league suspended what was supposed to be a new policy barring such demonstrations.

The anthem protests -- meant to draw attention to racial injustice -- have happened with varying participation since 2016, pulling the NFL into a public debate that has seen President Donald Trump call on team owners to stem them.

In Philadelphia, Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett walked out of the tunnel Thursday during the anthem and headed to the team bench ahead of a game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

Eagles captain Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De'Vante Bausby raised their fists during the song.

"I just think it's important to keep this conversation going, that we don't let it get stagnant," Jenkins said after the game, according to NFL.com. "You know, as we understand it, everybody's kind of waiting to see what the league is going to do. ... It's just my personal decision to keep these things at the forefront."

In Miami, Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during the anthem ahead of their game against Tampa Bay, the Miami Herald reported. Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist during the song, according to WTVJ.

In Jacksonville, several Jaguars -- including Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith, Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon -- were not on the field as the anthem played ahead of their game against the New Orleans Saints, The Florida Times-Union reported.

It wasn't immediately clear how many players overall protested during Thursday's 12 NFL preseason games.

Powered by Frankly