After withstanding two seasons of backlash against players kneeling, raising fists and displaying other means of protest during the anthem, the National Football League said it would fine teams with protesting players directly, who in turn would have it in their discretion to enforce pregame anthem observations in their own ways.
"The NFL has been engaged in constructive discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the anthem and issues of equality and social justice that are of concern to many Americans". As the song began, the players took a knee.
The NFL has said it won't punish the players who took part in the protests on Thursday, reiterating the league's decision to shelve its new policy regarding conduct surrounding the anthem until it reaches an agreement with the NFL Players Association.
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick tweeted his support for the Miami players.