Two singers who performed the national anthem at Sunday’s football games took a knee during their performances.
In Detroit, singer Rico Lavelle dropped to his right knee, bowed his head and raised his right fist wrapped around the microphone.
He took a knee at the word ‘brave’. The Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons were facing off in Detroit. Video from Sports Illustrated shows him taking a knee.
In Nashville, ‘The Voice’ runner-up Meghan Linsey took a knee as she finished singing before the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans. The guitarist accompanying her also took a knee.
The Seahawks and Titans didn’t come on the field until after Linsey finished singing. A handful of players stood outside the tunnel.
Pictured is Rico Lavelle, a Detroit-based singer who took a knee while singing the national anthem before an NFL game between the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday
Lavelle took a knee and raised his right fist on the word ‘brave’, towards the end of the anthem
Meghan Linsey, who placed second in season 8 of The Voice, also took a knee, along with her accompanying guitarist, at the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks
In a statement released ahead of the game, the Seahawks said: ‘As a team we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem. We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country.’
Lavelle wrote a series of tweets afterwards. He said: ‘I support the players who represent people like me who do not have an everyday voice.’
‘The President called them “sons of b*tches” less than 24 hrs ago. That is classless and incredibly UN-American,’ he wrote in another tweet. ‘How can the “leader” of the free world be so UN-American?’
Linsey did not compose a tweet herself but did retweet supporters.
She retweeted Bobby Bones, who wrote: ‘@meghanlinsey respect. Took guts. And heart. Glad you followed it. Love this country.’
She also retweeted Haley Grace, who said: ‘no matter what anyone says, I’m proud of @meghanlinsey for standing up for what she believes. #TakeAKnee #NationalAnthem #NFLSunday.’
The Falcons beat the Lions 30 to 26. The Titans beat the Seahawks 33 to 27.
Lavelle is a local musician based in Detroit.
Linsey placed second in season 8 of The Voice in 2015. She was on the show when Pharrell Williams was a judge.
Williams took a knee during the ‘Concert for Charlottesville’ on Sunday, in a pointed criticism of Donald Trump.
Before launching into a rendition of his hit song ‘Happy’, he took a knee during his performance in a pointed criticism of President Donald Trump – despite not referencing the president by name.
Williams told the crowd: ‘If I want to get on my knees right now for the people of my city, for the people of my state, that’s what this flag is for.’
Lavelle and Linsey took a knee in likely solidarity with NFL players who are doing so to protest racism and President Donald Trump
In a series of tweets, Lavelle explained why he took a knee. He wrote: ‘I support the players who represent people like me who do not have an everyday voice’
Linsey did not tweet about her action herself but retweeted messages of support from Bobby Bones and Haley Grace
NFL players defiantly reacted to President Donald Trump’s criticism on Sunday, with at least 150 players kneeling, sitting linking arms, giving black power salutes and not even showing up for the national anthem out of protest.
Players from both the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars were the first to protest by taking a knee ahead of their game at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday morning.
No players were kneeling during the playing of God Save The Queen – the British national anthem.
The defiance against Trump continued as games kicked off across the country with an unprecedented number of players kneeling and most teams in the early afternoon games locking arms in solidarity.
At least 20 Patriots players were spotted kneeling as Tom Brady linked arms with his teammates.
Pittsburgh Steelers players were absent from the sideline and remained in the locker room during the Star Spangled Banner. Alejandro Villanueva, who served three tours in Afghanistan, was the only Steelers’ player to stand outside the tunnel for the anthem.
Detroit Lions defensive end Armonty Bryant (97), defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (91) and defensive end Cornelius Washington (90) take a knee alongside their teammates
Players from the Seahawks and Titans remained in their locker rooms ahead of their game in Nashville on Sunday afternoon. The sideline was empty (above) while the anthem played
Pharrell Williams got down on both knees during ‘A Concert for Charlottesville,’ which was organized to promote unity in the aftermath of white supremacist rallies that rocked the Virginia college town last month
Major Thompson completed his last flight as pilot was introduced by Trump to reporters. Trump is pictured greeting Lynel Thompson, wife of the Marine pilot, and their two children on Sunday
The protests from each team came in the wake of Trump’s critical remarks toward players who don’t stand for the anthem. Last week across the entire NFL, only four players knelt or sat, and two stood with their fists raised.
Several NFL players, starting last season with then-San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have either knelt, sat or raised fists during the anthem to protest police treatment of blacks and social injustice. Last week at NFL games, four players sat or knelt during the anthem, and two raised fists while others stood by the protesters in support.
‘That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,’ Trump said, encouraging owners to act. He added: ‘Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired.’
On Saturday, Trump echoed his stance.
‘If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,’ Trump tweeted. ‘If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!’
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell strongly backed the players and criticized Trump for ‘an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL’ while several team owners issued similar statements.