NFL Ends 2017 the Same Way They Began 2017, with Protests

AP Matt Dunham
AP Photo/Matt Dunham

The NFL saw more than a dozen anthem protests on the final day of 2017.

Most of the protesting players came from one team: the Seattle Seahawks. Nine Seahawks players protested during the playing of the anthem, led by defensive end Michael Bennett who began protesting in the preseason, according to the AP.

According to The Hill, “Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews remained off the field during the national anthem before his team’s game, while his teammates, Brian Orakpo and Jurrell Casey, raised their fists once the anthem ended.

“Kenny Stills of the Miami Dolphins also knelt prior to his team’s game while the anthem played.

“San Francisco 49ers players Reuben Foster, Marquise Goodwin, Louis Murphy and Eric Reid all knelt during the anthem before their team’s game, according to The AP.”

The anthem protests have continued all year long in the NFL, despite the fact that Colin Kaepernick did not play this year. The protests took on a heightened sense of importance after President Trump denounced the protesting players in late September.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired,’ ” Trump said at a political rally in Alabama.

Though the number of protesters has dwindled, the protests have continued. The NFL reached an agreement with player representatives in late November, to distribute $90 million dollars to social justice causes in minority neighborhoods.