Jags' Smith, Seattle's Brown defend locker-room anthem protests
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To combat league-wide protests, the NFL instituted a new policy allowing players to remain in the locker room during the anthem.

The policy was put on hold as the league and NFLPA agreed to search for a compromise on the matter, but it didn't stop a collection of players from trying it out Thursday night.

Four members of the Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Fournette, Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith, and T.J. Yeldon - remained in the locker room during the anthem before their game against the New Orleans Saints, according to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk.

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"This is not going to become a distraction for this team. I've got beliefs. I did what I did," Smith said after the game.

"I don't know if it's going to be every week; can't answer if it's going to be every week. But, as a man, I've got to stand for something."

The Jaguars' stud weakside linebacker also wore his "Salute to Service" cleats during the game in honor of the military.

Fournette, the team's star running back, didn't get into specifics about the protest.

"It's a personal thing, and I don't want to get into it, but everyone has their own beliefs in certain things," he said.

Three members of the Seattle Seahawks - Duane Brown, Branden Jackson, and Quinton Jefferson - did the same ahead of their game against the Indianapolis Colts.

"It was a decision based on the injustices in this country against black and brown people and I feel like there hasn't been much progress made, so I chose not to take part (in the anthem)," Brown said, according to the Seattle Times' Bob Condotta. "I didn't want to kneel but I did want to be inside."

Brown met with the team to explain the decision and the three players gained the support of head coach Pete Carroll.

"We chose to support every individual," Carroll said. "That's how we have gone about it and we are going to continue to do that. ... There are some people who have their personal issues and we recognize that."

Jags' Smith, Seattle's Brown defend locker-room anthem protests
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