A day after most of the N.F.L. engaged in at least some form of demonstration during the playing of the national anthem, the Dallas Cowboys linked arms in the middle of the University of Phoenix Stadium field in Glendale, Ariz., and collectively took a knee before the song was played. The Arizona Cardinals linked arms in the end zone with some military personnel in a show of unity.
By the time the pop star Jordin Sparks began singing the song, the Cowboys, who were joined in kneeling by the team’s owner, Jerry Jones, had moved to the sideline, linking arms while standing. The crowd, which had booed as the visiting Cowboys were kneeling, let out some loud cheers at various points during the song.
The demonstration before ESPN’s broadcast of “Monday Night Football” showed that the league was continuing to show solidarity in the wake of comments by President Trump, at a political rally in Alabama and in posts to Twitter, about how any players that kneel or sit during the anthem should be fired. The situation has escalated in recent days, including Mr. Trump retweeting posts calling for a boycott of the N.F.L.
Most of the league’s owners have supported their players’ exercising of their First Amendment rights, either through statements to the news media or by standing with the players on the field during the playing of the song. Mr. Jones was the first owner to kneel with his players.
Various players addressed the protests on Monday, the most prominent being New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who explained his rationale for locking arms with a teammate.
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