Some National Football League players knelt again on Sunday when the U.S. national anthem was played before a game in London, defying U.S. President Donald Trump’s renewed call to end their protest over racial injustice.
The Fox television network’s broadcast of the day’s first game, at Wembley Stadium, showed three members of the Miami Dolphins kneeling as U.S. music star Darius Rucker performed “The Star Spangled Banner.”
All of the other uniformed Dolphins players and their opponents, the New Orleans Saints, were standing, many with their right hands over their chests.
The three players who had knelt stood for the British anthem “God Save the Queen,” which was also performed before the game.
On the eve of Sunday’s 14 NFL games, Trump on Saturday renewed his sharp criticism of players who have refused to stand during the pre-game ceremony.
“Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem,” Trump posted on Twitter. “Respect our Flag and our Country!”
On Sept. 22, he had touched off a national controversy that has enveloped the country’s most popular sports league.
Some African-American players adopted the symbolic gesture of kneeling during the anthem over the last year to protest against racial disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system. (Reuters)