"Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their "outrage" at something that majority are unable to define", Trump wrote on Twitter. Instead, the president tweeted players should "Be happy, be cool!".
Two Philadelphia Eagles players - captain Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De'Vante Bausby - protested by using their fists at a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jenkins stopped protesting after the league promised $89 million toward social justice initiatives. Excluding operating, administrative, marketing, and other costs, players get about 75 percent of what their team earns, based on the 2017 financials of the Green Bay Packers-the only team that releases the data, because it's the only one publicly owned.
Jenkins took to social media on Thursday and said: "Before we enjoy this game lets take some time to ponder that more than 60 per cent of the prison population are people of colour. It's love and we're just going to move forward, and move forward in the preseason".
Wilson was among several players who took a knee at least once past year during the Chiefs season. As Wilson joined Stills on the bench, their teammates lined up.
"As a black man in this world, I've got an obligation to raise awareness", Quinn was quoted by the AP as saying.
Literally, hours after the start of preseason came to an end, Trump took another shot at players that choose to protest the anthem.
"My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee", the tweet said. There is no indication yet as to which, if any, teams will protest during the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner. They returned to the sideline immediately after it concluded.
Last season, dozens of National Football League players participated in protests-sparked by former San Francisco's 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's move to kneel during the anthem in protest of social injustice and racial inequality.
Stills expects to protest during the regular season, and it would take "a lot" for him to stop.
Their coach, Pete Carroll, said he supported any individual decisions over whether to protest.
The NFL pulled in an estimated $14 billion last season.