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NFL preseason sees kneeling, raised fists, during national anthem

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NFL players continued to protest during the national anthem on Thursday night as the league began its first full week of the 2018 preseason.

Some players held their fists in the air, while others decided to kneel, despite the controversy surrounding the action.

Wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, both of the Miami Dolphins, kneeled during The Star-Spangled Banner, ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Miami Herald reported.

Robert Quinn, a defensive end for the Dolphins, raised his fist. Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins, who plays safety, and De’Vante Bausby, a cornerback, also raised their fists, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Defensive end Michael Bennett walked out of the tunnel as the anthem played and "spent the anthem walking toward the bench," the news outlet reported. Teammate Chris Long reportedly "placed his arm around Jenkins’ shoulder" during the song.

Across the NFL, players followed former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season in protest of social injustice and racial inequality.

It sparked a national discussion about patriotism, and drew sharp vitriol from President Trump, who condemned those who kneeled as disrespectful to America.

Miami Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn (94) raises his right fist during the singing of the national anthem, before the team's NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Miami Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raises his right fist during the singing of the national anthem, before the team’s NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

 (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Trump in June uninvited the Eagles from visiting the White House in honor of their Super Bowl win months earlier. He said the team didn’t agree with his belief that NFL players should stand during the anthem.

TRUMP TACKLES THE NFL AND NATIONAL ANTHEM: A TIMELINE

The NFL modified its national anthem protocol in May, prohibiting any sort of demonstrations for the 2018 season, but allowing players to remain in the locker room during the anthem if they chose to. Individual teams would be responsible for disciplining any demonstrators.

The players’ union filed a grievance about the policy change, and late last month, the new policy was put on hold while the NFL and NFL Players Association work on a resolution.

Following Stills and Wilson’s reported protests Thursday, Kaepernick tweeted: "My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee. Albert Wilson @iThinkIsee12 joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!"

Fox News’ Elizabeth Zwirz and Amy Lieu contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.

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