Members of the Cleveland Browns and law enforcement officers and emergency workers ran onto the field together and locked arms during the national anthem on Sunday before the team’s first game of the season.
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who last week accused the police in Las Vegas of excessive force and racially profiling him after mistakenly detaining him in connection with a report of gunfire there, sat during the national anthem before a game against the Packers in Green Bay. The Las Vegas Metro Police Department has released video showing the incident and refuting Bennett's claims.
Bennett’s brother Martellus, who is playing for the Packers, raised his right fist during the anthem, the New York Times reports.
Other players demonstrating anti-police sentiments during the first week of NFL play included:
* Marshawn Lynch—Oakland Raiders
* Robert Quinn—Los Angeles Rams
* Malcolm Jenkins—Philadelphia Eagles
* Marcus Peters—Kansas City Chiefs
On the other end of the spectrum Houston Texans' player J.J. Watt, who has raised millions for victims of Hurricane Harvey, tipped his cap to every officer he saw as he arrived for the game Sunday at NRG Stadium.
J.J. Watt has arrived at NRG Stadium and on his walk to the #Texans locker room he tipped his cap to every police officer he passed.— Andrew Catalon (@AndrewCatalon) September 10, 2017
The show of unity in Cleveland came after several Browns knelt in prayer before a preseason game, prompting police officers and rescue workers’ unions, which often participate in pregame ceremonies, to issue statements objecting to anthem protests and threatening to refuse to hold the flag during the anthem ceremony on Sunday.