Nine Seattle Seahawks players sat or took a knee during the national anthem before their game against the New York Giants Sunday. Among them was defensive end Michael Bennett, who has sat since the preseason.
Defensive end Cliff Avril was among those sitting with Bennett. Avril was not playing after being placed on injured reserve.
The others who sat are defensive lineman Frank Clark, Marcus Smith, Quinton Jefferson, Sheldon Richardson, Jarran Reed, Branden Jackson. Linebacker Michael Wilhoite took a knee.
Following President Donald Trump's comments last month criticizing players who sit during the anthem, the Seahawks remained in the locker room during the pregame ceremony before their game against the Tennessee Titans.
One week later, nine defensive players sat during the anthem. The following week the team chose to stand for the anthem. Defensive end Frank Clark indicated it was to show solidarity for the victims of the Las Vegas massacre.
The Seahawks did not play last week. Bennett indicated this week he would resume sitting for the anthem.
NFL management and players met last week to discuss what to do going forward. The NFL says it has no plans at this point to punish players who do not sit for the anthem.
The movement of sitting or kneeling during the anthem has been going on since last season. The players say it is to bring awareness of racial and social injustice in America.
Many fans have vowed to boycott the league until players resume standing, believing that the players are disrespecting the flag, the anthem, the country, and veterans. Others say the players are expressing their First Amendment rights under the Constitution.
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