Players kneel, raise fists during national anthem at NFL preseason games

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NFL preseason sees kneeling, raised fists, during national anthem

After withstanding two seasons of backlash against players kneeling, raising fists and displaying other means of protest during the anthem, the National Football League said it would fine teams with protesting players directly, who in turn would have it in their discretion to enforce pregame anthem observations in their own ways.

Team owner Stephen Ross has said he would like his players to stand for the anthem, and the NFL recently suspended its rule regarding anthem protests until the league and players union can come to terms on a policy.

Some players held their fists in the air, while others chose to kneel, despite the controversy surrounding the action.

Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist.

Before the Eagles-Steelers game, Malcolm Jenkins and De'Vante Bausby raised a fist during the playing of the anthem.

The NFL introduced a new national anthem policy this season. Lineman Chris Long placed a supportive arm around Jenkins.

The Miami Dolphins' Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson both knelt during the anthem ahead of their preseason opener game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to Miami Herald sports reporter Adam Beasely.

Michael Bennett of the Eagles did not participate in the anthem and instead walked out of the tunnel and toward the bench while the anthem was sung, Bowen reported.

The debate ratcheted up a notch in 2017 when US President Donald Trump said kneeling players showed "total disrespect for our great country".

According to the new policy, players who do not participate in the anthem are allowed to remain in the locker room during the anthem.

There also were at least two players who took a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Individual teams would be responsible for disciplining any demonstrators.

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