New York Giants player kneels for national anthem during Thanksgiving game

Oliver Vernon, defensive end for the New York Giants, took a knee during the national anthem prior to the Thursday night Thanksgiving football game against the Washington Redskins.

Vernon has knelt since the beginning of the NFL season and was among several NFL players to kneel during the anthem last week.

Last Sunday, Vernon said he would keep kneeling prior to games, despite criticism.

“What it would take for me to stand is if people can understand what the whole message is behind it,” he told Newsday. “That would actually help a whole lot, but everybody doesn’t see things that way and tries to distort what the message was from the beginning, which is basically social injustice on African-Americans and police brutality.”

NFL players started kneeling last season when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest the treatment of minorities. Protests have continued this season after President Trump said in September players who refused to stand for the anthem should be fired.

Trump has continued to bash the protests.

“The NFL is now thinking about a new idea — keeping teams in the Locker Room during the National Anthem next season,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday, referencing a Washington Post report that NFL owners were debating altering anthem rules if protests continued. “That’s almost as bad as kneeling! When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!”

This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner

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