The #TakeAKnee movement all but took a knee over Veterans Day weekend, with every player in the NFL standing for the anthem except for three: two San Francisco 49ers and one New York Giant.
Amid continued urging from the NFL for all players to stand, and with the nation watching to see if players would continue this particular weekend to disrespect the flag that so many have lost their lives defending, almost the entire league stood, starting with the Thursday night game. According to reports, only three kneeled over the weekend: safety Eric Reid and receiver Marquise Goodwin from the 49ers and defensive end Olivier Vernon from the Giants, all three of whom have been kneeling for most of the season.
That some of the protest holdouts over Veterans Day weekend were 49ers seems fitting, as the protest movement was born on the San Francisco sideline. Back in August 2016, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick announced that he was "not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." Over the course of 2016, several players joined him, but the movement really blew up early in the 2017 season in response to President Trump blasting players who insisted on kneeling.
The Guardian notes that while Reid chose to kneel, he made sure to find a way to show that he respected the military by embracing a member of the Air Force, a moment that got caught on camera.
Like other players, Reid has maintained that his refusal to stand for the national anthem "is not about the military, this is not about the flag, this is not about the anthem." Citing several family members, including his mother, who served in the armed forces, Reid, said in October. "I have the utmost respect for the military, for the anthem, for the flag. ... This is about systemic oppression that has been rampant in this country for decades on top of decades."
The NFL asked teams to observe two minutes of silence before the games to honor veterans, while individual players found their own ways to honor the military and veterans. In a particularly classy move, Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman signed his patriotic-themed cleats and handed them to military officers.