TAMPA, Fla. — Olivier Vernon knelt during the national anthem prior to the Giants’ game against the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium to protest social injustices in the United States. It was the second week in a row he did so.
Such demonstrations throughout the NFL were fewer than they were last weekend. The Giants’ Landon Collins and Damon Harrison, who knelt last week in Philadelphia, instead raised a fist during the singing of the song. Linebacker Keenan Robinson joined them in that symbolism. The rest of the Giants locked arms on the sideline.
Vernon said during the week that he wasn’t sure what he would do.
“Everybody is not going to like you already, as it is,” Vernon said of the feedback he received after last week’s protest. “Doing something like that, you just got to stand tall, honestly, and keep it moving.”
Vernon, who injured his right ankle against the Eagles, aggravated the injury late in the first half Sunday and did not return for the second half.
The Giants had a meeting Wednesday with co-owner John Mara in which Mara requested that they stand for the anthem but told them he understood if they did not.
“Honestly, as a player in this league, with everything that’s going on, you can’t really ask for more than that,” defensive captain Jonathan Casillas said of Mara’s stance.