Raiders' Irvin, Smith join protest, raise fists during anthem


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -– Raiders linebackers Malcolm Smith and Bruce Irvin raised their fists during at least some portion of the national anthem played prior to Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.

The act was replayed on the game's television broadcast.

Several players have raised fists during the anthem early this season as a protest of police brutality and social injustice towards minorities. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started these protests and a national conversation about race by sitting and eventually kneeling during the anthem.

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Neither Smith nor Irvin have discussed any form of protest or their views on this topic to this point.

No Raiders players have kneeled or raised a fist during the national anthem during the team’s first two games.

The topic hasn’t been broached by anyone around the team since Kaepernick’s protest first began.

Head coach Jack Del Rio was asked on Aug. 29 about Kaepernick’s choice to sit during the anthem, and said that, while Americans are afforded the right to express themselves, the Raiders organization prefers its people pay respect to the flag.

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