The number of NFL players protesting during the national anthem to bring attention to social injustices against the African American community has been on the rise. It began last year with Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers, but this preseason, players from the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, and Los Angeles Rams joined the movement by sitting, kneeling, or raising a fist during the anthem.
The largest protest to date was Monday night, when 11 Cleveland Browns (including former Michigan Wolverine Jabrill Peppers) knelt in a circle, while two others stood with their hands on the shoulders of their teammates.
Most NFL players not involved have remained silent on the issue, including Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. The same cannot be said for his wife Kelly Stafford, who posted the following today on Instagram:
So far, no Lions have taken part in a similar public protest. However, Detroit receiver Golden Tate stated last week that he wanted to protest in some fashion, but did not want a perceived lack of respect for the national anthem to take away from his message. That prompted me to offer Tate this suggestion that would still be public without interrupting the anthem.
With the recent exponential growth in these protests over the last two weeks, it is likely that some of Stafford’s teammates will eventually take part, maybe as early as this Friday night when Detroit hosts the New England Patriots in their third preseason game. Whether people agree or disagree with the protests or Mrs. Stafford’s thoughts, this could cause some division in the Lions locker room.