NFL players kneel, sit out of National Anthem for preseason opener

- As the first NFL preseason games kicked off Thursday night, Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during the national anthem before the team's preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Two players were seen taking a knee, one was seen raising his fist, and others did not take the field while the National Anthem played, according to Miami media. 

The Miami Herald reported that Sills and Wilson mark the first players to kneel in the 2018-2019 season since the NFL implemented a rule requiring players to stand.

It's been three years since Colin Kaepernick started kneeling in the 2016 preseason as a way to bring attention to extrajudicial violence by police against black people. 

In May, NFL owners approved a new policy that allowed players to protest during the national anthem by staying in the locker room but forbid them from sitting or taking a knee if they were on the field.

"Stand or stay out of sight," was essentially the motto. 

Related: Stand or stay out of sight: NFL takes on anthem protesters

In July, the league and players association jointly announced that this new rule was "put on hold" until further notice.

If in action, the rule would have fined teams whose players protested during the anthem, but allowed the teams the choice to wait in the locker room while the anthem was performed. 

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