President Donald Trump on Friday criticized NFL players who lodge pregame protests, saying in a speech in Alabama that he wished those players would be released. He also encouraged fans who are offended to walk out of stadiums. Several players and coaches reacted strongly to Trump on social media, and in terms of protests, the NFL is expecting a "mixed bag today, on a team-by-team basis," a senior NFL official told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio on Sunday.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the pregame protest of racial oppression and inequality in the United States last season by sitting during the national anthem before a preseason game, then kneeling during the anthem throughout the season.
Here are the players who protested in Week 3 (most recent updates first):
Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys briefly took a knee before a giant American flag was unfurled that covered almost the entire field before the Cowboys' game Monday night against the Cardinals. They lined up alongside the northern goal line of the end zone during the national anthem, and players linked arms. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Cowboys coaches participated in both taking a knee and linking arms with players. -- Todd Archer
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals lined up alongside the southern goal line of the end zone during the national anthem on Monday night. Some players linked arms. Cardinals president Michael Bidwill was standing between Patrick Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald, who was standing to the right of coach Bruce Arians. -- Josh Weinfuss
Oakland Raiders: Most of the Raiders remained seated or took a knee during the national anthem prior to Sunday night’s game at Washington, including the entire offensive line, which is comprised of all minority players and is the lone all-black starting unit in the NFL, and the defensive line. Players who stood interlocked arms, as did coach Jack Del Rio, and quarterback Derek Carr appeared to pray while looking skyward and standing. -- Paul Gutierrez
Washington Redskins: Owner Dan Snyder linked arms with corners Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman during the national anthem. The entire team linked arms, but seven players opted to take a knee: receivers Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson and Brian Quick; tight ends Niles Paul and Jordan Reed; and linebackers Ryan Anderson and Chris Carter. In the first two game the Redskins had stood in line during the anthem. The team released a statement after the anthem: “Football has always served as the great unifier, bringing people together to celebrate the values of courage, commitment and achievement. We are proud of the players, coaches and fans of the Washington Redskins for all that they have done to improve the lives of others in neighborhoods all across our region. We are also grateful for the sacrifices made by the brave men and women of our armed forces that have provided us the freedom to play football. In that great tradition, the Washington Redskins will work to address divisions and bring unity, civility and respect to our greater community.” -- John Keim
Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks did not participate in the national anthem before their game against the Titans. Players released this statement: "As a team, we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem. We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We remain committed in continuing to work towards equality and justice for all."
In his pregame radio interview with Jen Mueller of Root Sports Northwest, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the message of the team not coming onto the field for the national anthem was unity. “We’re just staying together. We’re staying together,” Carroll said. “This is a day that we all want to make sure that we’re together and celebrating the opportunity to play this game together in the best way we can possible.” -- Brady Henderson
No players on either team's sideline for the national anthem ahead of the Seahawks-Titans game at Nissan Stadium.
Tennessee Titans: The Titans decided to remain in the locker room during the national anthem ahead of their game with the Seahawks. “As a team, we wanted to be unified in our actions today,” the Titans said in a statement. “The players jointly decided this was the best course of action. Our commitment to the military and our community is resolute and the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn't be misconstrued as unpatriotic.” -- Cameron Wolfe
Noticeable boos from home fans as Titans came on field locking arms after anthem was finished. Five team captains: Marcus Mariota, Jurrell Casey, Wesley Woodyard, Delanie Walker, Brian Orakpo led the way.
Here are wide receiver Rishard Matthews' pregame cleats:
These are the cleats that Titans WR Rishard Matthews will wear in today's game vs. Seahawks. They say ‘We are One' and ‘We all bleed the same,' as a message against racial inequality in this country and Donald Trump's verbal attack against the NFL and its players who choose to protest. Matthews, a strong supporter of the military, told me last month: "We're men that play football. We're not just football players."
Cincinnati Bengals: All of the Bengals' players and coaches stood for the national anthem with their arms linked before the game against the Packers. The only notable exceptions were Kevin Huber, Randy Bullock, Cedric Ogbuehi, T.J. Johnson and Russell Bodine, who stood with their hands over their hearts. Nobody kneeled. No Bengals player has kneeled during the national anthem since the protests began last year. Tyler Eifert, who has been vocal about standing for the anthem, did not travel to this game because of an injury. The Bengals released this statement after the players linked arms: “Football and politics don't mix easily. Fans come to NFL games to watch great competition on the playing field and that's where our focus should be. -- Katherine Terrell
Green Bay Packers: The Packers linked arms in two groups on their sideline during the anthem before the game against the Bengals, but three players sat on the bench: tight ends Lance Kendricks and Martellus Bennett and cornerback Kevin King. Bennett previously had stood with his fist raised in the past two games. -- Rob Demovsky
Kansas City Chiefs: Many Chiefs protested the national anthem by sitting before the game against the Chargers. I counted 11 players standing for the anthem along the sideline, where the team usually gathers. Some players, including quarterbacks Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes, stood, but behind the bench. Among players who didn't stand: tight end Travis Kelce, linebacker Justin Houston, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and running back Kareem Hunt. -- Adam Teicher
Los Angeles Chargers: Chargers players Brandon Mebane, Damion Square and Darius Philon sat, while Tenny Palepoi and Chris McCain knelt during the national anthem before the game against the Chiefs. The rest of the Chargers players and coaches, including owner Dean Spanos and general manager Tom Telesco, locked arm in arm. “I have tremendous respect for our flag and the men and women who defend it,” Spanos said in a prepared statement. “Ours is the greatest nation in the world, one in which people are able to speak freely and stand up publicly for their beliefs. Our players, as do all Americans, have every right to speak their mind and from their heart. It was an honor to join them on the field today.” -- Eric D. Williams
The Chargers locking arms during the national anthem. Melvin Ingram took a knee. Chris McCain, Darius Philon, Brandon Mebane, Damion Square and Tenny Palepoi sat down.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady stood, hand over chest, with his other arm locked with Phillip Dorsett, Matthew Slater, David Harris, Dwayne Allen and Cassius Marsh before the Patriots' game against the Texans. At the end of that line, Marsh put his hand on the shoulder pad of Marquis Flowers. Meanwhile, about 20 players kneeled during the national anthem. Booing could be heard from fans in the stands. The following players kneeled, side by side with arms locked, during the national anthem: Adam Butler, Brandon King, Lawrence Guy, Alan Branch, Jordan Richards, Malcom Brown, Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise Jr., Jonathan Jones, Devin McCourty, Elandon Roberts, Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler, Brandon Bolden, James White, Johnson Bademosi and Duron Harmon. Long-snapper Joe Cardona, currently on active duty in the U.S. Navy, stood at attention on the sideline during the anthem.-- Mike Reiss
Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins locked arm in arm as a team, including owner Stephen Ross, before Sunday's game against the Jets. The Dolphins' owner stood between safety Reshad Jones and center Mike Pouncey near the 50-yard line. Five players also took a knee for the national anthem: running back Jay Ajayi, receiver Kenny Stills, left tackle Laremy Tunsil, safety Maurice Smith and tight end Julius Thomas. Several Dolphins players wore black "#ImWithKap" T-shirts during warm-ups. -- James Walker
Dolphins CB Byron Maxwell is among the first players on the field for warmups. Miami's secondary must cover better, including Maxwell.
Detroit Lions: Lions owner Martha Ford and her three daughters, who are usually long gone from the field by the time player introductions begin, remained on the sideline as Detroit’s team was introduced and stood next to coach Jim Caldwell with linked arms. Fans booed the Lions as they protested. Eight players, including Ameer Abdullah, Tahir Whitehead and most of the defensive line, kneeled and linked arms. Eric Ebron stood alone, away from his teammates, in the back. Anthem singer Rico LaVelle, at the end of the anthem, took a knee and raised his fist. -- Michael Rothstein
New Orleans Saints: Running backs Adrian Peterson, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara were among a group of 10 players who sat on the bench during the national anthem for the first time Sunday at Carolina. Defensive linemen Cameron Jordan, Sheldon Rankins and Alex Okafor, safeties Kenny Vaccaro, Rafael Bush and Chris Banjo and receiver Brandon Coleman also sat. Punter Thomas Morstead, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, linebacker Craig Robertson and tight end Coby Fleener stood next to the sitting players, with their arms on the players’ shoulders. No Saints had sat or knelt during the anthem before -- although they did organize a teamwide display of unity and hand-holding with the Falcons after the anthem on a Monday Night Football game last season. Quarterback Drew Brees came out strongly last year saying he disagreed with Colin Kaepernick’s form of protest, though he didn’t disagree with his message. -- Mike Triplett
Atlanta Falcons: Falcons owner Arthur Blank stood on the sideline with arms locked along with wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman during Sunday's national anthem before the game against the Lions. The entire Falcons team locked arms during the anthem, with defensive linemen Grady Jarrett and Dontari Poe the only two players to take a knee. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn put his hand on Poe's shoulder. -- Vaughn McClure
Denver Broncos: Thirty-two Broncos players knelt during the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Bills, including practice squad players. The group included linebacker Von Miller and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who are team captains. Tight end Virgil Green and linebacker Shaquil Barrett both stood and raised a fist. -- Jeff Legwold
New York Giants: Giants players stood with their arms locked before the matchup with the Eagles, but for the first time, players kneeled for the anthem. Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon and Landon Collins kneeled. -- Jordan Raanan
Pittsburgh Steelers: As the anthem began in Soldier Field, several Steelers coaches were on the sideline, including Mike Tomlin, while the players remained in the locker room. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley, offensive line coach Mike Munchak and running backs coach James Saxon also were spotted. Players took the field within a few seconds of the anthem’s conclusion, just after the fireworks launch, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger one of the first out of the tunnel. Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, an Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan, was seen on the CBS broadcast at the edge of the tunnel during the anthem, hand over heart. -- Jeremy Fowler
As anthem begins in Soldier Field, Steelers sideline empty save coaches, including Mike Tomlin.
Philadelphia Eagles: Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, executives and players locked arms with servicemen and servicewomen and police officers during the playing of the national anthem before Sunday's home opener against the Giants. Safety Malcolm Jenkins has been demonstrating for social justice since Week 2 of last season, and he continued to raise his first above his head. Defensive end Chris Long, who has placed an arm around Jenkins as a sign of support since the events in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, was joined by several teammates surrounding Jenkins on Sunday. Wide receivers Torrey Smith and Marcus Johnson also raised their fist. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks stood off to the side and appeared to be the only Eagles player not participating in the demonstration. -- Tim McManus
Cleveland Browns: About 20 Browns players knelt during the national anthem in Indianapolis. The crowd booed loudly, and running back Duke Johnson waved the crowd on. Johnson was in a group standing behind those who knelt with a hand on a shoulder of kneeling teammates. All Browns players, whether standing or kneeling, locked arms. -- Pat McManamon
Chicago Bears: The Bears did not kneel during the anthem before Sunday's game against the Steelers, but many players locked arms. Quarterback Mike Glennon placed his hand on his heart as he linked arms with rookie safety Eddie Jackson and tight end Dion Sims. -- Jeff Dickerson
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Wide receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson became the first two Bucs players this season to protest during the national anthem. Both kneeled along the sideline while placing their right hands over their hearts, with a large number of teammates standing and linking arms, before Sunday's game against the Vikings. -- Jenna Laine
Indianapolis Colts: The Colts locked arms during the national anthem before the game against the Browns. Several players, including receiver Matt Hazel, linebacker Jabaal Sheard, safeties Malik Hooker and Darius Butler, cornerback Rashaan Melvin, linebacker Jon Bostic, linebacker Tarell Basham and defensive lineman Al Woods, took a knee during the anthem. This is the first time that a Colts player took a knee during the national anthem since cornerback Antonio Cromartie did so in London in Week 4 last season. -- Mike Wells
Minnesota Vikings: A host of Vikings were joined by general manager Rick Spielman and owners Mark and Zygi Wilf on the sideline and linked arms during the national anthem before the game against the Bucs. Not all Vikings participated in the display, including members of the offensive line, Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray and C.J. Ham. Some of those players stood with their hands over their hearts during the anthem. Running back Jerick McKinnon stood with his arms around Vikings special-teams coach Mike Priefer and trainer Eric Sugarman. -- Courtney Cronin
Houston Texans: During the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Patriots, Texans players stood side by side and linked arms. This is the first time they have done that. The only other protest that has happened was when Duane Brown raised his fist in Week 3 last year, also at Gillette Stadium. He’s not with the team right now. COO (and owner Bob McNair’s son) Cal McNair joined players as well. -- Sarah Barshop
New York Jets: Every Jets player, coach and staff member linked arms during the national anthem before the game against the Dolphins. Acting owner Christopher Johnson, the younger brother of owner and U.S. ambassador to the U.K. Woody Johnson, was among them. He stood between quarterback Josh McCown and safety Jamal Adams. The Jets have yet to comment publicly on Trump. -- Rich Cimini
Carolina Panthers: Defensive end Julius Peppers was not on the field for the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Saints. The rest of the team stood as players have since the season began. -- David Newton
Buffalo Bills: The entire Bills sideline took the unusual step of walking about 10 yards toward the middle of the field for the national anthem. Several players then kneeled for the national anthem. LeSean McCoy took a knee at one end of the line, with scattered players kneeling throughout, including WR Jordan Matthews, DE Ryan Davis, DE Shaq Lawson, LB Lorenzo Alexander, RB Mike Tolbert, CB Shareece Wright, CB Leonard Johnson, DT Cedric Thornton and DT Marcell Dareus. Other players linked arms and players stood behind those kneeling with hands on their shoulders. Coach Sean McDermott locked arms with Bills players in the center of their line.
Mike Tolbert had a message on his T-shirt during warm-ups before the game against the Broncos. -- Mike Rodak
— Dan Fetes (@danfetes) September 24, 2017
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens, whose players had never protested during the anthem previously, had 10 players who took a knee before Sunday's game in London against the Jaguars: linebackers Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, Tim Williams, Tyus Bowser and Za'Darius Smith, wide receiver Mike Wallace, defensive lineman Carl Davis, safety Tony Jefferson, and defensive backs Anthony Levine and Lardarius Webb. -- Jamison Hensley
Jacksonville Jaguars: Jaguars players linked arms in London for the national anthem before their game against the Ravens. Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler were among the players who also took a knee -- and they were joined by Jaguars coach Doug Marrone. Owner Shad Khan stood and linked arms with Marcedes Lewis and Telvin Smith. -- Michael DiRocco
From Thursday Night Football
Los Angeles Rams: Robert Quinn raised his right fist during the national anthem before Thursday's game against the 49ers, and punter Johnny Hekker placed his hand on Quinn’s back in support, just like he did in Week 2. Quinn said last week: “I think that just shows the message we’re trying to send is unity.” -- Alden Gonzalez
San Francisco 49ers: Safety Eric Reid knelt again during the national anthem before Thursday’s game against the Rams. Reid did not play because of a knee injury but was on the field and surrounded by about 10 teammates as they put hands on each other's shoulder pads. -- Nick Wagoner