A raised fist, more kneeling players as NFL anthem protest spreads

Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:31pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Curtis Skinner

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters raised his fist and several Miami Dolphins players knelt during performances of the U.S. national anthem on Sunday, the latest gestures in the National Football League to draw attention to racial inequality.

San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick started a controversy when he began the protests against injustice and police brutality by refusing to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" during preseason games.

Other members of the Chiefs linked arms during the anthem, as did the Seattle Seahawks at their game in Miami, although the exact meaning of their gestures was not immediately clear.

Sunday's games fell on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States and many NFL teams commemorated the tragedy with special ceremonies.

Four Miami Dolphins players - Arian Foster, Jelani Jenkins, Michael Thomas, and Kenny Stills - knelt while the national anthem was played at their season opener against the Seahawks. On the other side of the field, the Seahawks locked arms while standing during the song.

Photos published online by Sports Illustrated showed Tennessee Titans players Jurrell Casey, Wesley Woodyard and Jason McCourty raising their fists ahead of their game against the Minnesota Vikings as well. It was not not clear whether the images were taken before, during or after the anthem however.

Representatives for the teams could not be immediately reached.

The gesture on Sunday by Peters, 23, 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 Mexico City.   Continued...

Sep 11, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Players  stand for the national anthem before the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports