Standing, kneeling or gesturing in support of Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protests has come at a cost for the dozen players who have joined the cause against social injustices. They've faced vitriolic, sometimes racist reactions, forfeited some of their fan base, and at least one has lost endorsements.
None is deterred.
"No, it's worth it," said Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, insisting that while he's disheartened by evaporating endorsements, Twitter trolls and the burning of a T-shirt in front of team headquarters this week, he's also undaunted.
"It's an evil world. It's a hateful world. I'm not here to spread hate. I'm not here to respond to the hate. I'm here to spread love and positivity," he said. "People can call me n-word or cuss at me or say they wish I would break my neck all they want."
Detractors say protesting players are unpatriotic or disrespectful the American flag. Marshall said he's also gotten lots of love from military veterans saying they fought for his right to peacefully protest as much as they did for those who stand and salute the Stars and Stripes.
Kaepernick, who began this movement last month by refusing to stand for the anthem during San Francisco's preseason games as a protest to racial oppression and police brutality.
Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane and 49ers safety Eric Reid took a knee in support of Kaepernick in the preseason. Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters raised a black-gloved fist.
Four Dolphins kneeled with their hands on their hearts: running back Arian Foster, safety Michael Thomas, receiver Kenny Stills and linebacker Jelani Jenkins. Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, cornerback Jason McCourty and linebacker Wesley Woodyard raised right fists after the anthem ended.
FALCONS: Top receiver Julio Jones said he can play Sunday despite a nagging left ankle injury that he tweaked in a loss to the Bucs. No. 2 receiver Mohamed Sanu also is limited by an ankle injury.
GIANTS: Fullback/defensive lineman Nikita Whitlock was been suspended without pay for the next 10 games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
SEAHAWKS: Quarterback Russell Wilson (sprained ankle) said he can play Sunday. He was a full participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday.
STEELERS: Linebacker Ryan Shazier, who injured his right knee in Monday night's game, practiced and said he plans to play Sunday. … Receiver Antonio Brown was fined an undisclosed amount for dancing after scoring and for violating NFL uniform rules with blue shoes.
VEGAS STADIUM UPDATE: A plan to build a stadium in Las Vegas and lure the Raiders cleared a big hurdle when a Nevada oversight committee voted to recommend $750 million in public funding for the project. The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee recommended raising a hotel tax to help pay for a 65,000-seat venue that would be partially financed by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. The project still has to win over the governor, the Legislature and three-quarters of NFL owners.
Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene
Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
OBITUARY: Fred Quillan, a two-time Pro Bowl center who played on the 49ers' first two Super Bowl champion teams in 1981 and '84, died Monday. He was 60. Mr. Quillan played 10 seasons in San Francisco after being drafted in the seventh round out of Oregon in 1978.