Chargers’ Russell Okung raises fist during national anthem before preseason game against Cardinals

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Chargers tackle Russell Okung stood with his fist raised during the national anthem Saturday ahead of the Chargers-Cardinals game at University of Phoenix Stadium.

There were no other overt protests, and it wasn’t immediately clear whether any players remained in the locker room.

Okung, one of the leaders pushing for social change among NFL players, raised his fist while remaining standing during the national anthem last season to protest social injustices and police brutality.

Okung wrote an open letter last fall calling for NFL players to be more organized in their protests and lamenting the warping of their protests’ original intention.

The protest controversy has taken center stage at University of Phoenix Stadium before.

Before a September game last season at the height of the anthem controversy, Cowboys players and coaches, and team owner Jerry Jones, locked arms and briefly took a knee on the field before the anthem played at University of Phoenix Stadium.

During the anthem, they helped hold a massive flag stretched out on the field.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, stood and locked arms in the end zone.

The player protests started in 2016 with then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting, then kneeling during the anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

Since then the protests have spread throughout the NFL, drawing attention and criticism from President Donald Trump.

Kaepernick went unsigned last season and remains out of the NFL.

He is suing NFL owners, saying they’ve improperly colluded to keep him out of the league.

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