The Patriots took different approaches as the National Anthem played on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Many, including safety and captain Devin McCourty, took a knee. Others stood and linked arms.
A league source has told CSN's Gary Tanguay that every Patriots player will stand for the anthem prior to Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.
Patriots captain Devin McCourty explained that Saturday was an emotional day for him and his teammates as they tried to determine how best to react to Trump's comments, which referred to players kneeling during the anthem as "sons of bitches" who should lose their jobs.
"We were obviously very conflicted," he said. "We knew our message would be perceived by a lot of people in a way that wasn’t what we were trying to put out. A lot of guys felt, I mean, all over the place about the comments by the President Friday night. As a leader on the team, a lot of guys came to me and they didn’t know what to do. They just were kind of angry.
"It was good Saturday. We all kind of talked as a group of releasing that anger and not being angry. We were in chapel and a lot of guys talked about that in our faith, God is first. We wanted to come together."
Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the national anthem could be suspended for up to four games under a team policy issued this week.
The “Proper Anthem Conduct” section is just one sentence in a nine-page discipline document provided to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the policy who insisted on anonymity because the document is not public. It classifies anthem protests under a large list of “conduct detrimental to the club,” all of which could lead to a paid or unpaid suspension, a fine or both.
Miami’s anthem policy comes after the NFL decided in May that teams would be fined if players didn’t stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” while on the field. The league left it up to teams on how to punish players. None of the team policies have been made public.
The NFL rule forbids players from sitting or taking a knee if they are on the field or sidelines during the national anthem, but allows them to stay in the locker room if they wish. The new league rules were challenged this month in a grievance by the players union.
Patriots safety Devin McCourty was among several NFL players who criticized the new policy when it was revealed in May.
The NFL declined to comment. Team officials had no immediate comment.
© 2018 by The Associated Press
Nick Foles is likely headed back to the bench to back up Carson Wentz after leading the Philadelphia Eagles past the Patriots for their first Super Bowl title.
But the backup QB is still No. 1 in jersey and other officially licensed merchandise sales - beating out the same QB he topped in Super Bowl 52 - according to figures released by the NFL Players Association.
For the period from March 1 to May 31, it's Foles' No. 9 at No. 1 over Tom Brady's No. 12, with Wentz's No. 11, who was injured late last season before Foles took over the starting job, coming in third. At fourth is a player who has yet to take a snap yet for his team, No. 2 overall pick Saquan Barkley, the running back from Penn State who'll wear No. 26 for the New York Giants.
Brady's former backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, now wearing No. 10 for the San Francisco 49ers, checks in at eighth.
Here's the Top 10:
1. Nick Foles, Eagles QB No. 9
2. Tom Brady, Patriots QB No. 12
3. Carson Wentz, Eagles QB No. 11
4. Saquon Barkley, Giants RB No. 26
5. Dak Prescott, Cowboys QB No. 4
6. Aaron Rodgers, Packers QB No. 12
7. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys RB No. 21
8. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers QB No. 10
9. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants WR No. 13
10. Derek Carr, Raiders QB No. 4
Other Patriots in the Top 50: Tight end Rob Gronkowski, whose No. 87 gear is 24th and at 32nd, it's wide receiver Julian Edelman, who wears No. 11.