Orchard Park, N.Y. — Last month, Cameron Jefferson raised his fist quietly and alone
He stood on the Buffalo Bills‘ sideline with his fist in the air during the national anthem prior to the team’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He did it to join with Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins and other players who used demonstrations during the anthem to protest racial and social inequality. He didn’t do it for attention and didn’t tell anyone he was going to do it.
Jefferson was cut when the Bills trimmed their roster to 53 players. But he proudly watched his former teammates with both the Bills and Broncos join the anthem demonstrations this week after President Donald Trump said NFL owners should “fire” any “son of a bitch” who decides to kneel. A week ago, six players kneeled. After Trump’s remarks, more than 200 NFL players made similar statements by kneeling or raising a fist during the national anthem.
“It was powerful to see, especially certain guys that I’ve shared a spot on the team with,” Jefferson said by phone Monday. “It was a good thing to see the unity within the guys that did protest. And it was good to see both teams and how this is affecting everybody and it’s not just one part of the country. It’s not just one person. It was a lot of people.”
Many NFL fans have spoken out against those who use the national anthem to make a statement, but nobody could avoid it Sunday. In every NFL stadium, players wanted to respond to Trump and show he could not divide them.
“Seeing the president talk at that rally in Alabama, the words…
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