All eyes are on the NFL today ― but not just for what happens after the kickoffs.
After President Donald Trump in a Friday speech and then in a series of follow-up posts of Twitter criticized NFL athletes who have been protesting racism by kneeling during the national anthem, many other players are expected to demonstrate before today’s games.
Such a protest occurred in Sunday’s very first game ― played in London ― and included the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars owner, Shahid Khan, joining in it with some of his players. Khan had donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee.
On Friday in Alabama, Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired?’”
Trump’s comments have already sparked a large social media response from a variety of professional athletes and celebrities, including singer Stevie Wonder, who took a knee during a performance Saturday night.
Bruce Maxwell, a catcher for the Oakland Athletics, became the first major league baseball player to take a knee national anthem Saturday night.
It’s anticipated that players on many NFL teams will link arms, hold flags and kneel as shows of unity, rather than walking out, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported. Several players announced their intentions on social media before the games, encouraging others to demonstrate with them.
Teams had emotional meetings last night, weighing options for how to respond. 1 weighed walking out during the anthem. Another linking arms.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 24, 2017
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore Ravens
Players and staff on both teams kneeled and linked arms during the national anthem. An estimated 27 individuals took a knee on the field.
Future NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, who in December visited Trump inNew New York as the then-President-elect prepared to take office, also kneeled.
This is a developing story.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Chicago Bears
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin announced that his team would be staying in the locker room during the national anthem during Sunday’s game.
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
Miami Dolphins player Julius Thomas announced that he would be taking a knee with his teammates.
New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins announced his team will be locking arms during the national anthem. In the past, Jenkins has raised his fist during the national anthem as a form of protest.
More than ever we remain committed to advocacy 4 equality & social justice 4 all! @Eagles fans Join us in locking arms 4 unity in our city!— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) September 24, 2017
Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions
The owner of the Atlanta Falcons Arthur Blank is expected to demonstrate with his team.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank is expected to join his team on the sideline during the National Anthem in a sign of solidarity— Steve Wyche (@wyche89) September 24, 2017
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.