The NFL protests began in Aug. 2016 when then-49ers QB Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem as a statement against inequalities minorities face in the U.S. have now reached league-wide status.
Not all, but many players from all 32 teams – and some coaches and owners – have continued the protest by either kneeling, linking arms, sitting, or standing with their fists raised.
The Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton raised a clenched fist to "signify black power" after scoring a touchdown Sunday. https://t.co/FASX7xBC9d
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) October 2, 2017
The NFL faced heavy criticism from the President, but that only seemed to strengthen their resolve.
As a result of President Trump’s harsh words, the protest spread to MLB, albeit not on the same grand scale, and Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first pro baseball player to also take part in kneeling during the anthem.
A’s rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell becomes the first MLB player to kneel during the national anthem pic.twitter.com/8eStL42yac
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) September 24, 2017
As the NBA season was inching toward its preseason, the league’s front office sent memos last week reinforcing its rule that players and coaches stand for the national anthem.
In a memo sent on Sept. 29, the Association also suggested other ways in which players, coaches, and team personnel might address the protest movement.
NBA has sent at least 3 memos this wk outlining other ways in which teams can engage their communities, sources say https://t.co/gScqSYxw2F
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) September 30, 2017
NBA teams respected the league’s memo and remained standing as the preseason kicked off over the weekend but did not remain completely silent.