There are three weeks left until the National Football League starts its regular season, and no resolution is in sight to the ongoing dispute over how players should conduct themselves during the playing of the national anthem.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association are allegedly negotiating the sticky issue, and while that’s happening, no players or teams are being penalized for demonstrations during the anthem. But the issue is far from quiet, as players continued protesting this week during the pre-season games, and one network that carries the games, ESPN, has said it will no longer televise the song’s performance.
While the negotiations presumably drag on, the usual national anthem protests continued by many of the player who previously engaged on the issue.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De’Vante Bausby both stayed in the tunnel leading to the field as the anthem played, while defensive end Michael Bennett stayed in the locker room before the team’s game this week versus the New England Patriots.
Before the anthem, Jenkins staged a mild protest by appearing on the field in a shirt with the phrase, “You Aren’t Listening.” Jenkins has claimed he wanted to call attention to the alleged meaning of the player protests.
During the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Chargers game Saturday night, left tackle Duane Brown and defensive ends Quinton Jefferson and Branden Jackson stayed in the tunnel. Chargers left tackle Russell Okung raised a fist during the anthem, which he did for many games last year.
For the Miami Dolphins, wide receiver Albert Wilson kneeled on the sideline during the national anthem, while defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist. Receiver Kenny Stills, who has protested over the last three seasons, was inactive and did not travel to the game in Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers.