LONDON (WJZ) — In the first NFL game since President Donald Trump made comments about players who kneel during the national anthem, members of both the Ravens and Jaguars took a knee while the “Star-Spangled Banner” was played ahead of their match-up in London.
Some players on both teams, Ravens coach John Harbaugh and Jaguars owner Shad Khan opted to stand arm-in-arm with those on either side of them as the “Star-Spangled Banner” and Britain’s national anthem, “God Save The Queen,” played.
At a Friday rally, the president said that NFL owners should, when dealing with a player kneeling during the anthem, “get that son of a b**** off the field.”
The president has doubled down on his initial remarks over the course of the weekend, calling on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to tell players to stand. Goodell and some team owners criticized his comments in turn.
Athletes also responded sharply. LeBron James called the president a “bum.” Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland A’s became the Major League Baseball player to take a knee during the anthem.
On Sunday morning, the president commented again, tweeting on the matter.
Even former Raven Ray Lewis kneeled on the sidelines ahead of the game in London. Lewis has suggested in the past that former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked controversy by kneeling ahead of games last season, should leave the politics out of his game.
“The football field is our sanctuary,” Lewis said. “If you do nothing else, young man, get back on the football field and let your play speak for itself. And what you do off the field, don’t let too many people know, because they gonna judge you anyway, no matter what you do, no matter if it’s good or bad.”
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti released the following statement on Twitter after the start of Sunday’s game.
Fans had a mixed reaction to the decision by Ravens and Jaguars players to kneel.
Some applauded it…
While others were disappointed.