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‘It’s about injustice’: anthem protests still divide as NFL season kicks off

As the Super Bowl champion Eagles began their season on Thursday night, the movement started by Colin Kaepernick stirred up strong emotions

Nowhere was the galvanizing capacity of sport, the inimitable way a team can bring together strangers, regardless of race or gender or socio-economic background, more apparent than on Thursday night in Philadelphia. It was the opening night of the NFL season and the hometown Eagles, who in February won a Super Bowl for the ages before getting disinvited from the White House celebrations, were raising the banner commemorating the team’s first championship in 57 years before opening their title defense against the Atlanta Falcons.

Yet only days after Nike confirmed that Colin Kaepernick would be the face of a new ad campaign, the subject of the NFL player protests continued to divide opinion among supporters of a team whose roster includes some of the NFL’s most socially conscious players. On Thursday night, none of the Eagles – or Falcons – protested during the anthem, save for defensive end Michael Bennett, who sat down at the very end of the song. Even without any overt protests though, the anthem debate still provokes divergent views among fans.

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