At least 29 players took part in some form of National Anthem protest during the second week of NFL preseason action.
That number, as cataloged by ESPN, included Cleveland Browns tight end Seth DeValve, the first white player to take a knee during the anthem, as well as Oakland Raiders Pro-Bowlers Derek Carr and Khalil Mack.
Carr placed his right hand on the left shoulder of Mack, both with their heads down rather than up and directed at the flag.
Carr said at practice Tuesday:
“Khalil and I were not protesting out country, we love our country. But we know it’s imperfect.”
The non-verbal protests were of course initiated by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains unsigned less than two weeks before the season opener, last season in response to what he believes to be social injustice directed at minorities, in particular African-Americans.
Since sitting during the anthem throughout last preseason, and to the greatest national attention prior to the 49ers Week 1 Monday Night Football matchup with the Los Angeles Rams, Kaepernick has been on the receiving end of some hate. But also support, including a rally held Saturday in New York headed up by New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams and a contingent of NYPD officers.
— Justice League NYC (@NYjusticeleague) August 19, 2017
The support poured well beyond New York, though, as players from no less than seven teams took part in a National Anthem protest of some kind.
Raiders who joined Mack and Carr included Marshawn Lynch, who sat through the anthem for the second consecutive week, and rookie Shalom Luani, who kneeled.
Carr said the response he has received has been entirely supportive:
“It’s been 100-percent positive, I haven’t had one person say they didn’t like it.”
“We just wanted to show that we love each other and that that’s OK, and actually it’s right. That’s all we wanted to do. Honestly, if someone’s mad at that you’re going to have to question them.”