The Last Seven NFL Players Who Refused to Stand Back Up

Colin Kaepernick's message started a movement that lasted through the season.

Eli Harold #57, Eric Reid #35, Marquise Goodwin #11 and Louis Murphy #18 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline as Adrian Colbert #38 stands with them in solidarity, during the anthem. (Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

During the last week of the 2017 NFL regular season, there were only seven players who knelt during the national anthem: Duane Brown, Marquise Goodwin, Eli Harold, Louis Murphy, Eric Reid, Stills and Olivier Vernon. At least one player has knelt during the anthem every week since Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality — among other systemic injustices — that disproportionately affect black Americans. The demonstrations peaked this past September, right after President Donald Trump suggested that any player who took a knee should be fired. More than 100 players knelt during Week 3, and dozens more offered gestures of solidarity. But these seven players have remained kneeling and have continued to advocate for Kaepernick’s original message. The seven players are planning to meet with Kaepernick this month in New Orleans to plan the next steps for the movement, which has grown beyond what any of them ever expected. There is no sense in stopping, the players told Bleacher Report, no matter what the NFL decides to do with players who kneel.

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