By David J. Phillip, USA TODAY Sports A day after a string of players took a knee during the national anthem, some players and fans stood up and joined in protests during the anthem in the NFL on Saturday, including former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Detroit Lions defensive end Ndamukong Suh.
The players also made it clear they were not supporting President Donald Trump or his administration.
The protests were held to mark the anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
While Trump and others criticized the players, they also applauded them for their protests, which drew a strong response from the players and their peers.
“We have to stand up to injustice,” Kaepernick said in a statement Saturday.
“Black lives matter.
White lives matter.”
On Sunday, the players were joined by other prominent athletes and some members of the media.
The Los Angeles Times said it will be “shifting its focus to the Black Lives Matter movement.”
The Los Gatos Daily News said it would be “moving our focus to what is happening in Ferguson.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters he did not have an immediate comment on the protests, but the league has made it known it will not be participating in the national holiday, which celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which falls on Monday.
“I’m not going to be in the business of making statements that are inconsistent with the spirit of the day,” Goodell said on Sunday.
“That’s not what this league is about.”
A source with knowledge of the discussions told ESPN.com on Saturday that the players are not worried about being blackballed or having their contract voided.
The source said the players plan to stay out of the spotlight.
“They’re not really worried about what happens if they take the field,” the source said.
“But I think this is a bigger deal than just that.
And if you do anything to diminish that, you’re going get a really bad rap.” “
People are going to see these guys for what they are, and that’s a group of guys who care deeply about what’s right and what’s wrong.
And if you do anything to diminish that, you’re going get a really bad rap.”
Some NFL players have spoken out about the national debate and called for players not to kneel during the playing of the national song.
Several players also said they planned to sit during the “Star Spangled Banner” and the anthem.
Some athletes have taken to social media to defend the protests.
“It’s a day for us to show solidarity,” former Chicago Bears linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo tweeted Sunday.
The Chicago Tribune’s Jeff Dickerson wrote: “The best thing that ever happened to America was when Colin Kaepernick took the field and sat in protest.
We must stand for what is right and not stand for anything less.