Three Dolphins knelt for the national anthem before their game against New Orleans in London, a fact that would be lost on the viewers who watched on TV.
Fox, airing the 9:30 a.m. Eastern time game, allowed coverage of the national anthem and “God Save the Queen,” but did not feature any close-up shot of Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas and Julius Thomas, who were taking a knee a week after so many joined them following President Trump’s attacks on the “son of a bitch” who doesn’t stand for the anthem.
Fox was not expected to show the national anthem live at any other game on Sunday, saying that airing the anthems at Wembley Stadium and not “The Star-Spangled Banner” on American turf is just keeping with procedure. Last week, when each anthem was broadcast and nearly dissected as TV viewers searched for who was standing and who was kneeling, apparently was an outlier.
“As we have in previous broadcasts of NFL games from London, FOX will show the National Anthem as well as God Save the Queen live,” Fox said in a statement to Sports Illustrated. “As is standard procedure, regionalized coverage of NFL games airing on FOX this Sunday will not show the National Anthem live; however, our cameras are always rolling and we will document the response of players and coaches on the field.”
Ignoring the players who dared to protest surely will please Trump, who tweeted Saturday, “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!”
Stills, Michael Thomas and Julius Thomas have been part of the protest since Colin Kaepernick began it last season, using the gesture to call out systemic racism in the United States.