After withstanding two seasons of backlash against players kneeling, raising fists and displaying other means of protest during the anthem, the National Football League said it would fine teams with protesting players directly, who in turn would have it in their discretion to enforce pregame anthem observations in their own ways.
Philadelphia Eagles players Malcolm Jenkins and De'Vante Bausby raised their fists in protest during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner prior to Thursday's (Aug 9) exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Meanwhile, there has been no change in the NFL's policy regarding the national anthem".
Kaepernick applauded the Dolphins players shortly after the display for their protest of "systemic oppression". Eagles defensive end Chris Long had his arm around Jenkins in a show of solidarity.
Jefferson, Jackson and Brown were among the Seahawks players who sat during the anthem last season.
The NFL owners approved a new national anthem policy two months ago that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the anthem, and fines a team for any protest by its players. The growing popularity of the peaceful protest particularly angered President Donald Trump, who said the act was unpatriotic and called for participating players to be fired.
Stills has routinely knelt for the anthem during his time with the team. In July, the league and players association jointly announced that the new rule was "frozen" until further notice.