>> NFL players across the league staging demonstrations while the national anthem played at their season openers Sunday. Players for the Dolphins kneeling during the song and Seattle Seahawks all linking arms in a show of unity before their game. The moves coinciding with the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks mark a major escalation in athletes' protests over racial injustice in the United States.
The demonstrations were set off by San Francisco 49er, Colin Kaepernick, who at a pre-season game in August remained seated during The Star-Spangled Banner. Saying, he refused to show pride in the flag of a country that oppresses minorities. The quarterback's decision sparked outrage for some, who called it a sign of disrespect for the nation and its armed forces.
But also drew support from fellow players, military veterans and the President, who defended Kaepernick's right to protest. NFL teams across the country held ceremonies ahead of their games Sunday to commemorate 9/11. The league said that as long as players didn't interrupt play or violate dress code, they could express themselves however they chose.