Skip to main content

Players Protest During Anthem in Preseason, NFL Statement Says Players 'Expected to Stand'

Find out which players protested the national anthem in the start of the preseason.

The NFL preseason is underway, and player protests against police brutality and racial injustice have continued after many policy discussions during the offseason.

In May, NFL owners voted to settle the national anthem debate by removing a requirement for players to be on the field during the national anthem.

Under the new rule, players and team personnel need to stand and "show respect for the flag and the Anthem" when on the field. Anyone who chooses to not stand for the anthem can stay in the locker room. Teams will be fined by the league if someone does not "show respect" and can choose to punish their players as well.

The NFLPA filed a grievance challenging the NFL's new anthem policy on July 10. Nine days later, the NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement saying that the two parties had reached "a standstill agreement" over the matter.

After players protested Thursday night, the NFL released a statement, courtesty of, to say that the league's anthem policy is still on hold during discussions with the NFLPA.

"The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans. While those discussions continue, the NFL has agreed to delay implementing or enforcing any club work rules that could result in players being disciplined for their conduct during the performance of the anthem.

"Meanwhile, there has been no change in the NFL's policy regarding the national anthem. The anthem will continue to be played before every game, and all player and non-player personnel on the field at that time are expected to stand during the presentation of the flag and performance of the anthem. Personnel who do not wish to do so can choose to remain in the locker room.

"We remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issues affecting our communities."

Here is a list of players and teams that protested during the national anthem on Thursday and Friday:

Steelers vs. Eagles

The Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins raised a fist during the anthem. Chris Long placed his left hand on Jenkins' shoulder.De'Vante Bausby also raised his fist.

Michael Bennett walked out onto the field after the anthem started. 

Saints vs. Jaguars

The Jaguars' Jalen Ramsey,Telvin Smith, Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon were not on the field with the rest of the team for the national anthem.

Buccaneers vs. Dolphins

The Dolphins' Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneeled during the national anthem.

Dolphins DE Robert Quinn raised his fist in protest during the anthem.

49ers vs. Cowboys

49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin raised his first before the game.

Raiders vs. Lions

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat on the bench during the national anthem.