The Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals put their own twist on recognizing the national anthem before their “Monday Night Football” game in Glendale, Ariz.
The Cowboys, joined by team owner Jerry Jones and his sons, interlocked arms and walked about 10 yards toward the middle of the field. They then took a knee collectively and were loudly booed. They then stood in unision, unlocked arms and returned to the sideline where they stood for the duration of the anthem.
The crowd booed loudly, then cheered as a field-sized American flag was unfurled.
Marie Tillman, the widow of former NFL player and Army Ranger Pat Tillman, says that her husband's service "should never be politicized in a way that divides us."
Marie Tillman released a statement to CNN on Monday after President Trump retweeted a post referencing Pat Tillman and using the hashtag #StandForOurAnthem. Trump has criticized NFL players for kneeling during "The Star-Spangled Banner" to protest police mistreatment of blacks and other social injustices. More than 200 NFL players knelt or sat during the anthem this weekend.
Tillman walked away from the NFL to join the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004.
Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes and flipped head over heels into the end zone on a 10-yard run for another and the Dallas Cowboys pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Arizona Cardinals 28-17 on Monday night.
The Cowboys (2-1), bouncing back from a 42-17 pummeling in Denver, began the game kneeling at midfield with owner Jerry Jones in a show of unity that followed widespread protests across the NFL of critical comments by President Trump over the weekend.
After they kneeled, they stood and walked to the sideline for the anthem.
The Pittsburgh Steelers decided as a team to remain in the tunnel during the national anthem before Sunday's game to show unity and avoid being part of the political discussion about protests during the song.
On Monday, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger decided to go public with his feelings about the team's decision and the national anthem in general.
"The idea was to be unified as a team when so much attention is paid to things dividing our country, but I wish we approached it differently," Roethlisberger said in a statement. "We did not want to appear divided on the sideline with some standing and some kneeling or sitting.
President Trump tweeted he was proud of NASCAR because no drivers, crew or other team members protested during the national anthem Sunday prior to a race at New Hampshire Motorspeedway.
"So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won't put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag - they said it loud and clear!" Trump tweeted Monday.
Several team owners and executives had said Sunday they wouldn't want anyone in their organizations to protest. Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt's longtime team owner, said of protesting: "It'll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus."
During a radio interview Monday morning, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady addressed President Trump's controversial comments about NFL players protesting during the national anthem.
"I certainly disagree with what he said," Brady said on WEEI in Boston. "I thought it was just divisive."
During a political rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump challenged NFL owners to fire players who refuse to stand for the anthem. The number of players who protested in some form multiplied from just a handful in previous weeks to 200-plus this weekend.