It’s the season opener, so, of course, there were a few NFL players on their knees for the national anthem.
Miami Dolphins’ players Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson both decided to take a knee during the national anthem of the first Sunday football game of the regular season.
Colin Kaepernick, the original NFL kneeler, took to Twitter to commend the players for their “resistance.”
My Brothers @kstills and @ithinkisee12 continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward!
“Love is at the root of our resistance!”✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/2kSsX4s7EU
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 9, 2018
Many people were frustrated with the players’ decisions to protest during the national anthem.
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) September 9, 2018
Their decision to kneel came just as reports were breaking from ESPN that the NFL officially caved and will not implement a national anthem policy during the 2018 season.
They are TOAST…
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) September 9, 2018
The league had considered implementing a penalty for kneeling during the anthem, but the players’ union fought the policy, and apparently, they won.
President Trump already took a swipe at the NFL, poking fun at their low Thursday night ratings.
Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison. Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2018
It’s not clear, yet, if ratings will be down for the full weekend as Sunday is typically the league’s biggest day.
Kaepernick’s complements to the two Dolphins’ players come a week after Nike announced him as the face of their “Just Do It” campaign.
Since Nike’s announcement, they have faced a mountain of backlash, including a shoutout from the president.
What was Nike thinking?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2018
It remains to be seen how this backlash will impact both Nike and the NFL in the long run.