The 2017 NFL season is upon us, and the spotlight surrounding pregame protests is brighter than ever.
TV networks have already promised that they will not cut away during anthems this season, a departure for a time usually reserved for squeezing in that last precious commercial break. But now the profits are greater: show a player kneeling before the anthem, and make your game go viral before the opening kickoff.
The preseason has already been filled with a handful of protests, including one from Chiefs All=Pro corner Marcus Peters. Peters, who raised a fist before the opening kickoff of last season, pedaled on a stationary bike during the anthem of a preseason game against the Seahawks.
Last year, Martellus Bennett and safety Devin McCourty were the only Patriots to raise their fists silently during the 2016 opener. Bennett is no longer with the team, but McCourty revealed recently that he has thought about doing something again in 2017.
“I don’t know. We’ll see,” McCourty told the Boston Herald. “I know I’ve thought about it, how to get involved, how to help. But, we’ll see.” McCourty’s twin brother, Jason, was one of 12 Browns players to kneel in prayer during the anthem of a preseason game this season.
The NFL season will kick off around 8:30 p.m. Eastern, so the anthem is expected around 8:15. If anything happens, refresh this page and full details will be provided.