Kaepernick thanks first players to kneel during national anthem

Kaepernick thanks first players to kneel during national anthem

Kaepernick thanks first players to kneel during national anthem

Stand for the national anthem, or don't, the NFL will no longer care this season.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has shown his support for players that knelt during the U.S. national anthem in week one of the 2018 NFL season.

U.S. President Donald Trump and the White House have spent much of the past year criticizing the NFL.

According to recent reports by ESPN, the National Football League is not expected to implement any new policy on the matter this season.

Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and current Nike spokesman, praised Stills and Wilson in a tweet on Sunday.

Dolphins receivers Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills were the only NFL players to kneel during the national anthem on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, but they still received some noteworthy support.

NBC ratings for the Atlanta Falcons-Philadelphia Eagles season opener Thursday were down 13 percent, but the kickoff was delayed by more than 30 minutes due to rain, pushing the broadcast later into the evening.

Back in May team owners approved a policy requiring players to stand for the anthem or remain in the locker room. The protest soon spread around the league with critics - including the U.S. president - saying it disrespected the flag and the military.

"They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated", Kaepernick said in the tweet, which was accompanied by a picture of the Dolphins kneeling before their game. "Otherwise worse!" Trump said.

"The new policy is going to be no policy - at least for this season", sources told ESPN. But they were enough to catch the notice of Kaepernick, who saluted the two players on Twitter.

The NFL briefly had a policy in place in May regarding the anthem, but rescinded it after the players union filed a grievance, which sent the league to the negotiating table with the union.

Two players in this afternoon's Dolphins-Titans game took a knee during the national anthem.

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