2 play­ers kneel; Kaeper­nick thanks them

Manteca Bulletin - - The League -

DEN­VER (AP) — Colin Kaeper­nick called them his broth­ers.

Dol­phins team­mates Kenny Stills and Al­bert Wil­son were the only two play­ers to kneel dur­ing the na­tional an­them on the NFL’s open­ing Sun­day, and Kaeper­nick, who is no longer wel­come on an NFL side­line, made sure to of­fer his thanks to them via so­cial me­dia .

“My Broth­ers (Stills) and (Wil­son) con­tinue to show their un­wa­ver­ing strength by fight­ing for the op­pressed,” Kaper­nick said in his tweet. “They have not backed down, even when at­tacked and in­tim­i­dated. ... Love is at the root of our re­sis­tance.”

It was Kaeper­nick, then with the 49ers, who sparked the an­them con­tro­versy by kneel­ing dur­ing the pregame rit­ual in 2016 — his way of protest­ing pol­icy bru­tal­ity and so­cial in­jus­tice in Amer­ica.

Since opt­ing out of his con­tract af­ter that sea­son, Kaeper­nick has been un­able to land a job with an NFL team and is su­ing the league for col­lu­sion.

But his voice is still be­ing heard. Last week, Nike in­tro­duced an ad fea­tur­ing the quar­ter­back and his mes­sage: “Be­lieve in some­thing, even if it means sac­ri­fic­ing ev­ery­thing.”

While Stills and Wil­son were kneel- ing dur­ing the an­them, team­mate Robert Quinn raised his fist. Nin­ers re­ceiver Mar­quise Good­win did the same at San Fran­cisco’s game at Min­nesota. In Los An­ge­les, Charg­ers left tackle Rus­sell Okung raised his fist. Bron­cos re­ceiver De­mary­ius Thomas and line­backer Bran­don Mar­shall, and Seahawks line­men Duane Brown and Quin­ton Jef­fer­son, re­treated to their re­spec­tive tun­nels while the an­them played.

On most weeks last year, the Seahawks had the most play­ers tak­ing ac­tion dur­ing the an­them. Though that num­ber had fallen to 2 to start 2018, Brown wasn’t wor­ried.

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