Thursday, August 16, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Koetter: Bucs waiting for league to set new policy on protests

All the Bucs' players were standing during the national anthem before Thursday's preseason opener in Miami, while two players from the Miami Dolphins continued their protest across the field by kneeling during the anthem.

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, who had supported players and their right to protest in each of the last two seasons, said the team will wait to see what the league decides for a protest policy before moving forward with their players.

"We're waiting," Koetter said Friday. "I think it's real important that we see what the league decides in conjunction with the players' association. That's what I've been talking to the guys about. It's a very important issue, and obviously around the league last night, there were some things that happened.

"There's going to be something more said, and until then, we're just trying to go out there and do the best we can. You know our stance on it, me personally as well as the club, and we'll hope they get to a resolution quickly here."

RELATED: Mike Evans on Trump, anthem: "Seems like he'd have better things to do.'

President Donald Trump, who has been critical of players who protest during the anthem, again tweeted in response Friday morning to a smaller number of protests across the league, including the two Dolphins.

"The NFL players are at it again," he wrote, "taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their 'outrage' at something most of them are unable to define. They make a fortunte doing what they love … Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!"

Bucs receiver Mike Evans sat in protest during the anthem in Nov. 2016 in protest of Trump being elected president, and Evans and DeSean Jackson kneeled in Week 3 of last season as part of a larger protest after Trump had made comments critical of players who were protesting.

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