It’s no longer just an unemployed quarterback taking a knee when they play the national anthem before NFL games. Marshawn Lynch, a Super Bowl champion with Seattle and a potential Hall of Famer, began sitting for the anthem during this year’s preseason as well. Even without Colin Kaepernick on an NFL roster, at least 10 players haven taken action on the field in 2017.
In fact, several white NFL players joined the protests for the first time ever during the second week of the preseason. Eagles defensive end Chris Long, Seahawks center Justin Britt, and Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr all made statements on some level during pregame ceremonies.
Just days after Seattle’s Michael Bennett said protests would have a much greater impact with white players involved, the Seahawks star saw his wish granted. Whether through silent support for teammates or accompanied by statements to the press, these players joined African-American players for the first time. Here’s why they changed their minds.