17 Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars players were among the first in the NFL to kneel during the national anthem in defiance of U.S. President Donald Trump.
The 2 teams participated in a special game in London, England on Sunday.
Later in the afternoon, dozens of players kneeled in defiance of Trump who called for team owners to fire or suspend players who disrespected the American flag.
During a rally in Alabama on Friday, Trump commented on the player protests, saying “Get that son of a bitch off the field!”
The Daily Caller blog pointed out that the total combined salaries of the 17 players who kneeled in London amounted to $450 million. Those same players stood when “God Save the Queen” was played.
Angry fans who vowed to boycott the NFL uploaded videos of themselves burning their season tickets.
The news media claimed Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin kept his team in the locker room rather than have them “play politics” by kneeling or sitting during the anthem.
In reality, the entire team was in the tunnel singing the “Star Spangled Banner”, right behind Steelers offensive linebacker Alejandro Villanueva, who walked out of the tunnel and stood alone with his hand over his heart.
The 29-year-old is an Army veteran who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan.
After the game, coach Tomlin, who is black, expressed disappointment in Villanueva for walking out of the tunnel ahead of his teammates.
Tomlin told reporters during a post-game press conference that he expected “100 percent participation” from his players in the tunnel.
The following is a list of NFL teams whose players did not kneel or sit during the anthem on Sunday, Sept. 24.
Many of the players on the following teams linked arms — sometimes with their team owners — to show solidarity while not offending the many men and women who died to protect the flag.
Photos by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images, Youtube.com