NFL players hold up $1,000 checks as players protest against Trump
The NFL players who took to the field Saturday to protest the election of Donald Trump were greeted with a sizable crowd in their seats, despite being at a private event.
The players, who will not face punishment for their actions, were joined by former San Francisco 49ers linebacker and current Miami Dolphins defensive end Ray Lewis and fellow players Antonio Brown, Ahmad Brooks, Malcolm Smith and Mario Williams.
The protest was part of a national week of actions that began on Nov. 8, the day Trump was elected.
The NFL has not yet responded to a request for comment.
The actions have drawn criticism from Democratic lawmakers and members of the media.
In a statement, the league said: “While there are no plans to hold a meeting, the NFL is fully committed to supporting our players and their political beliefs.”
The players are the only NFL players currently suspended by the league over Trump’s election, but a group of retired players announced on Sunday that they will be joining the protest.
“The league has decided to not hold a conference call on the protests, and we will be participating at the protests with the players and will not have any further comment on the league’s stance on the matter,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
“Our players and coaches are fully committed in their belief in the democratic process.
The only thing we will say is that we will continue to support our players as they express their political opinions.”
A league source told the Associated Press that the players were not planning to speak to the media on Sunday.
A group of former NFL players announced Sunday that their group would be attending a private, closed-door meeting with league officials in Washington, D.C. The meeting, which was set for noon on Sunday, was to be the last opportunity for the players to formally protest the Nov. 14 election.
It is not clear if the meeting will be held at a public location or whether it will be limited to the players.
The group was formed after a handful of former players, including Michael Irvin, protested the election in January and February.
The team that drafted Irvin in 1984 is also expected to attend the meeting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.