In response to President Donald Trump’s attacks this weekend on the NFL and its players who kneel during the national anthem, the players fought back in a way that’s become awfully familiar. They protested by kneeling and/or linking arms while the national anthems played Sunday, as the hashtag #TakeAKnee trended on Twitter.
Meanwhile, CBS and Fox broadcast the anthems, a pregame moment neither network usually shows.
The protests started Sunday morning when the Ravens and the Jaguars kicked off Week 3 from London’s Wembley Stadium. Players from both teams locked arms during the national anthem, multiple Baltimore players knelt, and Jacksonville owner Shad Khan—a Trump donor—showed solidarity with his employees.
During national anthem in London, Jaguars players locked arms. Some Ravens players knelt. pic.twitter.com/C8DdS1w2Tg— Josh Katzowitz (@joshkatzowitz) September 24, 2017
This is Shad Khan, the Jaguars owner who donated $1 million to Trump locking arms with his players during the anthem. pic.twitter.com/T51H1nUDnx— Josh Katzowitz (@joshkatzowitz) September 24, 2017
One more of the Jaguars locking arms during the anthem. pic.twitter.com/9eqJc2DBuy— Josh Katzowitz (@joshkatzowitz) September 24, 2017
Once the game started, Khan released this statement.
Shad Khan, the Jags owner who stood next to players with their arms interlocked, released this statement: pic.twitter.com/fcxO09BvCX— Tim Rohan (@TimRohan) September 24, 2017
The Steelers, meanwhile, simply decided to sit out the national anthem.
Which is apparently against the league rules.
Mike Tomlin says that Steelers will stay in locker room for National Anthem. This is not an option, according to league policy manuals pic.twitter.com/ViG9BDU6SA— Fᴏᴏᴛʙᴀʟʟ Zᴇʙʀᴀs (@footballzebras) September 24, 2017
Mike Tomlin. No players behind him. pic.twitter.com/GYR0M4EyvR— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) September 24, 2017
The Steelers were not on the sidelines during the national anthem. LT Alejandro Villanueva, who served in the Army, stood by the tunnel pic.twitter.com/teTCoJ3vFx— Master (@MasterTes) September 24, 2017
Here were other teams and players locking arms and protesting.
Eagles players all locking arms during the anthem. Powerful show of unity. pic.twitter.com/4tmycMJ7k3— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) September 24, 2017
Whole bunch of Patriots players are kneeling. There are some boos in the crowd pic.twitter.com/nLkc6TeQRh— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) September 24, 2017
TV networks rarely show national anthem. Not today, it's on every channel. pic.twitter.com/KCT4iwyZBB— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) September 24, 2017
Powerful images across the NFL during the National Anthem. pic.twitter.com/k0hn1SKW2c— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) September 24, 2017
View from the Saints bench as several players sit during the anthem. pic.twitter.com/TuXoQDY3OS— The MMQB (@theMMQB) September 24, 2017
Unity. pic.twitter.com/puD77lwORk— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 24, 2017
Before the games began, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, one of the best players in the league, posted this on Instagram.
Aaron Rodgers on Instagram pic.twitter.com/K5o6wguZuj— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) September 24, 2017
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, meanwhile, released this statement.
But the one person who started the national conversation about players kneeling during the national anthem wasn’t involved in the protests on Sunday. That’s because Colin Kaepernick is not currently employed.
Just wanted to point this out real quick. Don't forget who started all of this in @Kaepernick7. And he did it at great peril to himself.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) September 24, 2017