Several black football players have begun to kneel during the national anthem, continuing the act of protest began by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year, which was started in response to mistreatment of minorities in America.
Now, a white football player is joining them.
Chris Long, defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles, joined his teammate Malcolm Jenkins in sitting out of the anthem.
Chris Long put his arm around Malcolm Jenkins in support of his national anthem protest. pic.twitter.com/Rc7mM4sOqk
— SB Nation (@SBNation) August 18, 2017
Long, the son of FOX Sports analyst and Hall of Famer Howie Long, played for the New England Patriots during their Super Bowl-winning season last year.
The Eagles defensive end explained after a recent game that his decision to kneel was fueled in part by the events of the past weekend.
“It’s been a hard week for everybody,” he said. “It’s not just a hard week for someone being from Charlottesville. It’s a tough week for America.”
Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the singing of the National Anthem during football games last season to protest the injustices of non-white Americans in the United States.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick explained last year. “It would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Several analysts agree that Kaepernick’s decision to protest the anthem cost him a job this season. But the protest isn’t going away — many other players have made the decision to sit-out of the National Anthem during their games, including Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.
Long previously criticized players who chose to kneel during the anthem. “I’ve said before that I’ll never kneel for an anthem because the flag means something different for everybody in this country,” he said, “but I support my peers. If you don’t see why you need allies for people that are fighting for equality right now, I don’t think you’ll ever see it.”
Long also said this year that, as a member of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, he would not visit the White House for the ceremonial congratulations from President Donald Trump.