kneeling football players, raised fists, in anthem protests
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[September 19, 2016]
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles
Rams defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist and San Francisco
49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick was among several players
who knelt during performances of the U.S. national anthem on Sunday.
Three Miami Dolphin players also 'took a knee' before their game
against the New England Patriots as public protests continued in the
National Football League aimed at drawing attention to racial
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in before Sunday night's game
between the Minnesota Vikings and visiting Green Bay Packers, saying
he was encouraged by the direction players were taking their
"I truly respect our players wanting to speak out and change their
community," Goodell said, according to the New York Times. "We don't
live in a perfect society. We want them to use their voice.
"And they're moving from protest to progress and trying to make
things happen in communities," he added, with a nod toward the
community work some players are engaging in.
"I think where they're moving and how they're moving there is very
productive and we're going to encourage that."
Kaepernick started what has become a controversy when he began the
gesture against injustice and police brutality by refusing to stand
for "The Star-Spangled Banner" during preseason games.
On Sunday, he and 49ers safety Eric Reid again knelt for the
national anthem before their game against the Carolina Panthers,
while safeties Antoine Bethea and Jaquiski Tartt, linebacker Eli
Harold and cornerback Rashard Robinson raised their right fists.
In Los Angeles, Quinn also held his right fist high during a
rendition of the national anthem by American singer-songwriter CeeLo
Green ahead of the Rams' regular season home opener against the
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Denver Broncos inside
linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) kneels during the National Anthem
prior to the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority
Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY
The gesture by Quinn, 26, who is African-American, recalled the
raised fist demonstration by black athletes Tommie Smith and John
Carlos during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympic Games in
Arian Foster, Kenny Stills and Michael Thomas of the Miami Dolphins
knelt before their game in New England, and Tennessee Titans
cornerback Jason McCourty and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey raised
their fists in Detroit.
The protesting players have been seen as allies of the Black Lives
Matter movement, which grew in response to a string of high-profile
police killings of unarmed black people across the country. About
two-thirds of NFL players are black.
The protests have also provoked anger in some fans who see the
gesture as disrespecting the U.S. flag, the military and the nation
(Editing by Larry Fine)
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