If you happened to be sitting there around 1 o’clock EST, wondering what was missing as NFL players seemed to just go about their business, preparing to play football games. The missing element that you might have sensed, was likely the absence of anthem protests. In fact, no NFL players knelt or sat during the early games.
ESPN has run a tracking site where they list how many NFL players protests, and who they are. On Sunday, that site tabulated a giant zero for the early slate of games. Though, there were those who protested in absentia.
According to Pro Football Talk, “Four players remained out of sight during the 1:00 p.m. ET anthems; Titans receiver Rishard Matthews stayed in the locker room, and Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills, tight end Julius Thomas, and safety Michael Thomas remained in the tunnel.”
Thursday night’s clash between the Chiefs and Raiders saw three anthem protests. Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch continued the protest he began during the preseason. On the other sideline, Chiefs’ defenders Marcus Peters and Ukeme Eligwe also protested.
The NFL protests began last preseason, when former 49er Colin Kaepernick said he could not stand for a flag that “oppresses black people and people of color.” Now that so many NFL protesters have stopped protesting, one wonders, do the protesters no longer believe that the country no longer oppress black people? Or, did these faux revolutionaries just get bored once when the networks stopped showing them protesting?
That would be a really good question for the sports media to ask.