NFL protests during US national anthem continue in Week Four

1 October 2017, 18:53

NFL players across the league continued to protest during the US national anthem on Sunday, ignoring a fresh demand from President Donald Trump to stand for the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner.

A week after an unprecedented wave of racially-charged protests by players, smaller, scattered demonstrations could be seen as early games kicked off.

Three members of the Miami Dolphins team - Julius Thomas, Michael Thomas and Kenny Stills - were the first to take a knee during the anthem ahead of their team's game against the New Orleans Saints at Wembley in London.

A handful of Buffalo Bills players could be seen kneeling for the anthem ahead of their game against the Atlanta Falcons, while two Detroit Lions players took to one knee for the anthem before kick-off against the Minnesota Vikings.

But there appeared to be no protests in several other games, including the New England Patriots' clash with the Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys home game with the Los Angeles Rams.

In Baltimore, Ravens fans booed their team as they took to one knee for a "moment of unity" ahead of their game against Pittsburgh. Both the Ravens and the Steelers players then stood for the anthem.

Trump angered NFL stars, team owners and league officials on September 22 after describing any player who had protested against racial injustice by refusing to stand for the anthem as a "son of a b****."

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the protest in 2016 following the deaths of several African-American men during confrontations with police.

More than 150 players across the league kneeled or sat down during the playing of the anthem last week. The move drew criticism from Trump and fans, with accusations that the protesting players were disrespecting the national anthem and the US military.

On Saturday, Trump again raised the issue on Twitter, demanding players stand for the anthem, saying: "Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!"

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