As the Brooklyn Youth Chorus sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Sunday’s Dolphins-Jets game, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross stood with right arm linked to center Mike Pouncey and left arm to safety Reshad Jones, part of a team linking of arms seen in many NFL stadiums Sunday.
Sunday was the NFL’s first batch of games since President Donald Trump excoriated players kneeling during the anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality, a practice started last season by San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Trump said he wished an NFL owner would say “get that son of a bitch off the field right now,” then doubled and tripled down on those statements throughout the weekend on Twitter.
Ross' defense of the Dolphins who knelt last season drew several
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Players from the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars — and an owner who donated to President Donald Trump’s inauguration fund — locked arms and many knelt during the national anthem before Sunday’s NFL game in London.
Offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Kenny Stills and tight end Julius Thomas were among the Dolphins who kneeled.
The 9:30 a.m. Eastern time Jaguars rout of Baltimore While words from athletes and NFL owners, including filled media reports, the main curiosity surrounded Sunday’s actions during the Star-Spangled Banner.
According to reporters at the London game, about 25 Baltimore and Jacksonville players took a knee. Many more linked arms.
In the midst of the Jacksonville players was owner Sahid Khan, one of several NFL owners who donated cash to Trump's inauguration.
During the game, Khan released a statement:
“It was a privilege to stand on the sidelines with the Jacksonville Jaguars today for the playing of the U.S. national anthem at Wembley Stadium. I met with our team captains prior to the game to express my support for them, all NFL players and the league following the divisive and contentious remarks made by President Trump and was honored to be arm in arm with them, their teammates and our coaches during our anthem. Our team and our National Football League reflects our nation with diversity coming in many forms -- race, faith, our views and our goals. We have a lot of work to do and we can do it, but comments like the President’s make it harder.
“That’s why it was important for us and, personally, for me to show the world that even though we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation.”
All of the kneeling players rose for the British national anthem.