NFL Players Resume Kneeling in Thursday Preseason Games

Miami Dolphins’ Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson each took a knee on the sideline…

Players Protest America while Taxpayers Help Fund the NFL

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(Andre C. Fernandez, Miami Herald) With the NFL and the league’s players’ union at a standstill regarding its policy on national anthem protests, two Miami Dolphins continued to kneel during the anthem pregame on Thursday.

Receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, who is entering his first season with the Dolphins, each took a knee on the sideline prior to Miami’s preseason opener against Tampa Bay.

Stills, the most visible Dolphin in the growing number of athletes that have used that moment to protest against police brutality and racial inequality, has knelt during the anthem for the majority of the team’s games over the past two seasons.

Stills did so initially with support from Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross, who then later stated that he wished his players would stand for the anthem.

Stills continued to protest more frequently in the wake of comments made by President Donald Trump accusing players of disrespecting the American flag.

He received support on Twitter from the former NFL quarterback who started the kneeling practice, Colin Kaepernick:

Wilson, whom the Dolphins signed during the offseason, sat for the anthem at least once last year doing so as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs before their Week 5 game against the Houston Texans.

The NFL recently suspended its rule regarding anthem protests – which said players must either stand on the field for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner or remain in the locker room until the pre-game ceremony honoring the flag is complete – until the league and the players’ union can come to terms on one.

Until then, any disciplinary measures for such protests are up to each individual team.

Elsewhere two Philadelphia Eagles players, Malcolm Jenkins and De’Vaunte Busby, raised their fists during the anthem, and in Florida four Jacksonville Jaguars players did not appear on the field until the anthem was over.

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase appeared irritated earlier this week when asked by the media if he’d give his players any instructions on that intended to kneel.

“I’m not instructing anybody for anything,” Gase said.

The NFL intended to forbid players from kneeling in the spring, saying that those that do could be suspended or fined by their team.

The Dolphins put that rule in writing before the start of training camp, but only as “a placeholder” until a more comprehensive policy was implemented, according to Ross.

The rulebook was leaked to the Associated Press and set off a firestorm that convinced the NFL to suspend the rule and work with the NFLPA to come up with a new one.

©2018 Miami Herald. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Liberty Headlines editor Paul Chesser contributed.