Three of the NFL players who have continued protests during the playing of the national anthem are reaping rich rewards, earning more than $16 million in combined salaries this season.
Miami Dolphins players Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson have continued their protests from last season, but they have been joined by newly minted Carolina Panthers player Eric Reid, who was one of the original players to take up Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protesting back in 2016, according to Fox Business Network.
Wide receiver Kenny Stills is set to earn a salary of $8 million this year, the report states. As to the other two, Albert Wilson is set to bring home $7.5 million in salary and bonuses, while Eric Reid will earn $1.9 million for the remainder of the season.
Though, portions of those salaries are contingent upon triggering certain bonuses.
Several other players have joined the protests this year, such as the Los Angeles Chargers’ Russell Okung and the Seahawks’ Duane Brown and defensive Quinton Jefferson. But for the most part, the NFL has moved on from player protests during the nation’s theme.
From its one-time high of hundreds of players indulging some form of protest during the 2017 season, the protests have dwindled to practically nothing. Indeed, with the protests grinding to a near halt, TV ratings have also stopped their sometimes double-digit fall.
There were steep consequences for the protests. By some measurements, the NFL lost upwards to $30 million in ad revenue during the 2017 season alone.
Despite the loss, the NFL pulled back from implementing rules to stop the protests. The league did make a furtive stab at creating a rule, but the plan was stillborn after the players union demanded that it be put on hold because the players were not asked for their input into the rule. Since that time, the league seems to have decided not to take any actions over the protests at all.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.