The NFL is embroiled in a growing controversy over the issue of players kneeling and sitting during the playing of the national anthems during the anthem.
In the wake of protests from players, the league has said that the protests will continue and the players will not be penalized.
But on Monday, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications, Adam Schefter, defended the league’s stance, saying the players were not kneeling.
“I’m not sure we have an answer yet,” Schefter said.
“And it’s a little early in the season to answer that question.”
But a look at the history of kneeling during a national anthem can provide some insight into how much the league stands by its position.
In recent years, there have been multiple instances of players standing for the anthem and sitting in the locker room during the pre-game festivities.
In 2017, Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers started the season on a winning streak.
Then, during the final preseason game of the season, Kaepernick kneeled for the national song before the San Diego Chargers game against the Seattle Seahawks.
In 2018, Colin Jeter of the San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Dodgers stood for the playing the national Anthem, before he was hit with a four-game suspension for violating the league rule prohibiting head-to-head contact.
In 2019, two other NFL players took a knee during the singing of the National Anthem in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Last year, two teams in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons, were embroiled in an intense controversy over whether to remain seated during the Anthem, which was a national holiday.
The league and the teams initially said that it would not allow the players to kneel, but they reversed course in mid-November after the backlash.