Player demonstrations took place during the national anthem at several NFL preseason games Thursday night, and the man who started it all expressed his support. In Philadelphia, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De'Vante Bausby raised their fists during the anthem, and defensive end Chris Long placed his arm around Jenkins' shoulder, per the AP. Defensive end Michael Bennett walked out of the tunnel during the anthem and walked toward the bench while it played. It appeared all the Steelers stood. At Miami, Dolphins receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson and defensive end Robert Quinn protested during the anthem. Stills and Wilson kneeled behind teammates lined up standing along the sideline. Quinn stood and raised his right fist. There were no apparent protests by the Buccaneers.
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a leader of the movement, tweeted support for Stills and Wilson. "My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee," he wrote. "Albert Wilson joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!" Similar protests occurred at other games. The league and the players' union have yet to announce a policy for this season regarding demonstrations during the anthem after the league initially ordered everyone to stand on the sideline when "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played, or remain in the locker room. However, it later put the policy on hold. "Everybody is waiting for what the league is going to do," Jenkins said. "We won't let it stop what we stand for."