Arian Foster and three other members of the Miami Dolphins knelt during during the playing of the national anthem Sunday before their game against Seattle, taking a knee to protest the treatment of minorities by police.
Jelani Jenkins, Michael Thomas, Kenny Stills and Foster stood during the observance of the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that preceded “The Star-Spangled Banner,” then took a knee and placed their hands over their hearts.
The team, in a statement, said: “We encourage all members of our organization to stand at attention during the national anthem out of respect and appreciation for the freedoms we are afforded as Americans. We also recognize that it’s an individual’s right to reflect during the anthem in different ways. We respect these liberties and appreciate the sacrifices that everyone has made for our country, especially on this day of remembrance. We hope today’s events will continue a respectful and thoughtful dialogue in our community on unity inclusiveness and togetherness.”
On the other sideline at CenturyLink Field, the Seattle Seahawks joined arms along with Coach Pete Carroll in what the team had said would be a gesture of unity.
Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers brought heightened awareness to the idea of protesting during the anthem when he sat and then knelt during preseason games.