Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said the players didn't practice like zombies after their overseas flight, but that's exactly what the team resembled in Sunday's 44-7 embarrassment against the Jacksonville Jaguars. "League should back U.S.".
And the players on both sidelines who didn't kneel showed their solidarity for teammates by standing together with arms locked.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the kneeling movement a year ago when he played for the San Francisco 49ers, refusing to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner" to protest the treatment of black people by police.
The actions Sunday follow remarks by President Donald Trump at a Friday rally blasting Kaepernick and others who refuse to stand for the national anthem.
The protests continued into Sunday's afternoon slate of games.
"Our team and the National Football League reflects our nation, with diversity coming in many forms - race, faith, our views and our goals".
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Things escalated quickly from some bullshit comments the president made recently, this time it has to do with sports. At least seven team owners donated $1 million each to Trump's inaugural committee.
NBA stars have also become involved in the issue, with LeBron James describing US President Donald Trump on Saturday as a "bum" over comments he made about fellow basketball star Steph Curry.
The protests began in August 2016, when Kaepernick refused to stand during playing of the national anthem in protest at the treatment of minorities by law enforcement.
Trump's claims have been widely criticized, with National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell saying in a statement Saturday that "divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect".
Among the handful of Ravens taking a knee was former linebacker and TV commentator Ray Lewis. "All across the league, owners, coaches and players came together to decide what was best for them". "Negative and disrespectful comments suggesting otherwise are contrary to the founding principles of our country, and we do not support those comments or opinions".
The NFL Players' Association said the president had crossed a line by effectively telling players to just "shut up and play".
In an early morning Twitter message on Saturday, the president rescinded a White House invitation to Stephen Curry, who had said he would "vote" against the planned visit by the National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors.