A week after NFL players took part in widespread demonstrations during the national anthem, protests in the league through the early slate of Sunday games have largely shifted back to what they were in the weeks before Donald Trump addressed them: a movement encompassing a handful of players active in early games across the league, rather than a unified expression involving the majority of players.
The demonstrations on Sunday were much more limited than in Week 3, but many teams still took some form of action. The Saints, Jaguars, Ravens, and Steelers kneeled before the national anthem at their games. Miami players Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas, and Julius Thomas all kneeled during the anthem in London. Titans receiver Rishard Matthews stayed in the locker room for the anthem, and a few of his teammates—Jurrell Casey, Wesley Woodyard, Brian Orakpo, and DaQuan Jones—raised their fists as the anthem concluded. Several other players on the Bills, Lions, Rams, and Browns, also took part in protests during the anthem, either by kneeling or raising a fist. Players on the Vikings, Cowboys, Bengals, Texans, Panthers, and Patriots all stood for the anthem, and some linked arms.
Cam Newton, after a score in the fourth quarter against the Patriots, raised a fist, seemingly in protest.
Here’s Cam Newton raising his fist after scoring that touchdown. pic.twitter.com/7VKaxb4itX— Paolo Uggetti (@PaoloUggetti) October 1, 2017
But the most conversation-starting demonstration of the day so far may have come from Marshawn Lynch, who donned an “Everybody vs. Trump” shirt before the Raiders-Broncos game.
Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch wearing an "Everybody vs Trump" T-shirt: pic.twitter.com/7aiCUbjLUD— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 1, 2017
Later, Lynch was the only Raiders player not to stand for the national anthem before the game—something he’s been doing since the preseason.
The Raiders delivered one of the most notable protests last week, with roughly half the team sitting on their bench, arms interlocked, as the national anthem played before their game in Washington, D.C. Lynch, who also sat during the anthem in preseason games, just opened his Week 4 game with one of the most vocal and explicit protests from a player yet.