On the anniversary of 9/11 last year, multiple NFL players followed the lead of social justice activist and now former QB Colin Kaepernick and protested the United States and law enforcement by taking a knee during the national anthem. This year, all the players from the four teams who played on the anniversary Monday night appear to have stood for the entirety of the anthem.
Footage of the game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints shows all of the players standing during the performance of The Star-Spangled Banner on the 16th anniversary of the radical Islamic terror attacks in New York and D.C.
“Daniel Rodriguez sang the anthem. Rodriguez was an officer in the New York City Police Department and a first responder at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001,” Bleacher Report notes.
Footage of the later game between the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers likewise shows all the players standing to honor the country and remember the horrific attacks that took the lives of 2,996 people and wounded more than 6,000. Here’s footage of the stirring performance, showing the two teams standing united in respect and remembrance:
Broncos’ wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders took his celebration of the country and recognition of 9/11 further, coming out waving the American flag.
Such unity was not the case at the height of the controversy in 2016. On the 15th anniversary of the attacks, multiple Miami Dolphins players protested our country and police officers. Here’s an image of Miami’s Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas, Arian Foster and Jelani Jenkins kneeling like Kaepernick during the national anthem:
When Kaepernick first began his protests during the 2016 pre-season, he explained the reason the country didn’t deserve his respect: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Other players soon joined him, the anti-America/anti-police “movement” creating a great deal of controversy and significantly damaging the league’s ratings.
Though Kaepernick announced upon becoming a free agent after last season that he would no longer kneel during the anthem, several players have continued to do so this year, including the Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett. Bennett has been in the news recently because of his accusation that Las Vegas police temporarily detained him “for doing nothing more than being a black man at the wrong place at the wrong time.” The incident, he says, is yet more reason to continue his protests of the country. The Las Vegas police department, however, refuted the allegation, saying instead that Bennett was briefly arrested because he fled the scene of a suspected shooting after acting suspiciously.