There has been a lot of controversy regarding the NFL and the new national anthem policy put in place for this season, but there’s been no clear word on how things will be handled. In Week 1, there were two Miami Dolphins players who decided to test things and sit during the national anthem and their actions didn’t go unnoticed. One of those that witnessed their protest and decided to show his support was none other than Colin Kaepernick.
On Sunday afternoon, the Miami Dolphins were prepared to face off against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 of the 2018 NFL regular season. Before the game even started, the focus was somewhere else as wide receivers Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills both kneeled on the sideline during the national anthem.
They were the first players of this new NFL season to kneel in protest of the national anthem. Both of the Dolphins wide receivers said that they planned on continuing to kneel throughout the rest of the season even if there were to be punishment handed out to them.
Kenny Stills said that he would consider stopping his protest if former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and former Niners safety Eric Reid were signed to an NFL roster. Kaepernick was obviously watching on Sunday and did not let their protest go unnoticed.
My Brothers @kstills and @ithinkisee12 continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward!
“Love is at the root of our resistance!”✊???? pic.twitter.com/2kSsX4s7EU
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 9, 2018
As reported by ESPN, the situation regarding protests against the national anthem began with Kaepernick back in 2016. He started kneeling during the pre-game ceremony to protest police brutality and social injustice in America, and it quickly caught on.
After that season was over, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers and he has not played for any team since that time. He is now suing the NFL for collusion, but some believe he will still end up on another team roster in the future.
Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson were not the only NFL players who showed support to Colin Kaepernick and his message. They were the only ones to kneel, but a number of other players made gestures to let the world know during the national anthem that they believed in Kaepernick’s protest.
Before the Dolphins faced the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled as defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist. https://t.co/FRVs05EP8d pic.twitter.com/wPJXnqyWhV
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) September 10, 2018
- Dolphins’ Robert Quinn raised his fist
- 49ers’ Marquise Goodwin raised his fist
- Chargers’ Russell Okung raised his fist
- Broncos’ Brandon Marshall and Demaryius Thomas went to their team tunnel
- Seahawks’ Quinton Jefferson and Duane Brown went to their team tunnel
Earlier this year, the NFL did put a new policy in place that stated players could be fined or disciplined for protesting during the national anthem. The policy was rescinded almost as quickly as it was put in place and for this season, it appears there will be no punishment for any protests.
Colin Kaepernick may not be on any NFL roster and there is the chance that he never will be again, but his message will be heard and shown for years to come. During Week 1 of the 2018 regular season, a handful of players showed their support, while Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson of the Dolphins kneeled in protest. Making sure he knows their actions didn’t go unnoticed, Kaepernick tweeted out his thanks for the world to see.