As the preseason begins for the NFL, several players have taken a stance against the league by either kneeling or raising their fists during the national anthem. Although the players have made it abundantly clear that they are protesting racial injustice and police brutality, President Donald Trump dismissed their activism with a series of angry tweets.
Before Thursday night's game between the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson were seen kneeling during the anthem. Additionally, Robert Quinn, defensive end for the Dolphins, raised his fist during the anthem.
"This is about creating awareness," Quinn told the Sun Sentinel after the game. "I’ve been doing this for a long time now. … This isn’t a responsibility. It’s something I’m passionate about."
At his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Malcolm Jenkins, safety for the Philadelphia Eagles, also raised his fist during the anthem.
"I think it’s important that we continue to keep this conversation going, that we don’t let it get stagnant," Jenkins told NBC Sports in August.
Although there are surely more pressing matters the president could be addressing, he devoted time to tweeting about the players, and he falsely claimed they don't know what they are protesting.
At the end, he threatened the players with an unpaid suspension for protesting, even though the current NFL policy only says athletes could face a fine for any protesting during the anthem.
Trump's constant attack on the Black players who kneel was criticized, especially considering there is talk of an upcoming white supremacist march in Washington, D.C., this weekend.
(Photos from left: Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images, BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)