Jaguars, Ravens kneel during anthem as NFL Sunday kicks off
The Baltimore Ravens’ Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis lent their star power to the ongoing national anthem protests as most NFL players and coaches either kneeled or locked arms in London on Sunday ahead of the game between the Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Their protests came as President Donald Trump renewed his criticism of athletes taking a knee during the national anthem. In Sunday morning tweets, he slammed the league’s ratings and said players should be fired or suspended for such protests.
“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!” he tweeted early Sunday.
The tweets came the morning after Trump took on two of the country’s most popular sports leagues by withdrawing the White House invitation for the NBA champion Golden State Warriors and by calling for NFL owners to fire any “son of a bitch” who “disrespects our flag.”
Analysts predicted even more protests as the NFL’s Sunday games get underway. And at least two dozen members of the Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars took part in some form of protest during the American national anthem.
Here’s who’s been taking a stand Sunday:
Six-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champ Suggs was atop the list of Ravens players taking a knee before the game in London. Alongside him was retired Ravens legend Lewis, who locked arms with wide receiver Mike Wallace and linebacker C.J. Mosley.
Other coaches and players locked arms during the anthem.
At least a dozen Jaguars took knees during the anthem, including defensive standouts Calais Campbell and Jalen Ramsey, as well as their No. 4 draft pick, running back Leonard Fournette.
The majority of players locked arms, as did the coaching staff and Pakistani-American team owner Shad Khan, who said in a statement that he met with team captains prior to the game to express his support.
“Our team and the National Football League reflects our nation, with diversity coming in many forms — race, faith, our views and our goals,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do, and we can do it, but the comments by the President make it harder. That’s why it was important for us, and personally for me, to show the world that even if we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation.”