Five iconic sporting protests as NFL players take a knee during national anthem

NFL players joined a list of iconic protests on Sunday after kneeling or locking arms during the national anthem in response to comments from President Donald Trump.

Sport360 staff
by Sport360 staff
28th September 2017

article:28th September 2017

Sunday proved to be a landmark day in US sports history as NFL players across the country knelt or locked arms during the national anthem in response to attacks from President Donald Trump.

It was far from the first time sports and politics were intertwined, with athletes often having used their platform to make a statement.


Here’s a look at five iconic sporting protests.

DAVISON AT THE DERBY

Political activist Emily Davison, threw herself in front of King George V’s horse, Anmer, during the 1913 Epsom Derby, to try to earn women the right to vote. She died in the incident.

Davison paid with her life for her protest. (Image courtesy RTE)

Davison paid with her life for her protest. (Image courtesy RTE)

BLACK POWER SALUTE

African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their black-gloved fists at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, after winning gold and silver in the 200m sprint, as a silent protest against racial discrimination of black people in the United States.

“If I win I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say ‘a Negro’. We are black and we are proud of being black,” Smith later said in the press conference. “Black America will understand what we did tonight.”

Tommie Smith's protest has become one of sports' most iconic moments.

Tommie Smith’s protest has become one of sports’ most iconic moments.

TAKE A KNEE

NFL players across the US kneeled during the National Anthem in response to an attack from President Donald Trump.

Members of the Dallas Cowboys linked arms and knelt before the anthem on Sunday.

Members of the Dallas Cowboys linked arms and knelt before the anthem on Sunday.

FOWLER BACKS DOCKERS

The legendary Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler showed his empathy with 500 sacked Merseyside dockers revealing a t-shirt urging support during a game against SK Brann, of Bergen in 1997.

He was fined 900 pounds by UEFA for his actions.

Robbie Fowler showed his solidarity with dockers in 1997.

Robbie Fowler showed his solidarity with dockers in 1997.

TENNIS BALL PROTEST

Basel and Luzern fans were so outraged at a change to a kick-off time they threw thousands of tennis balls on to the pitch.

The biggest match of the Swiss Super League was moved to 12:45pm on Sunday, November 7, 2010 because Swiss TV didn’t want it to clash with the ATP Basel final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

We have to admit the football fans’ response by throwing tennis balls in protest was quite funny.

Basel fans’ protest in 2010. (Image courtesy Reuters)


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