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NFL players have protested the anthem all season — but see how they honored veterans this weekend

Despite protesting for weeks, NFL players chose to abstain from protesting the national anthem this Veterans Day weekend. (Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

NFL players have been protesting the national anthem all season. Despite much controversy surround the protests, dozens of players have been steadfast in a consistent protest. There was much mystery surrounding what they would do this weekend — Veterans Day weekend — and it's clear no one could have predicted what the players chose to do.

Were there any protests?

According to The Associated Press, no players kneeled during the national anthem in early games on Sunday. The NFL had previously maintained that players could protest. However, the players association did ask that all players observe a two-minute moment of silence Sunday to honor veterans.

According to the Washington Times, before this weekend, there were a group of about two dozen players who routinely protested week to week.

What did they do instead?

They honored veterans. The AP reported that one player in specific, Tennessee Titans receiver Rishard Matthews, walked onto the field holding hands with soldiers. Matthews has reportedly been a consistent protester before this weekend.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva distributed Army division stickers for each of his teammates to place on their helmets. Villanueva chose the divisions based on each teammates' personality.

But one of the coolest things to happen Sunday was when Josh Norman, a star cornerback for the Washington Redskins, took off his cleats and handed them to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert B. Neller.

Update: Through the evening games, three players — two San Fransisco 49ers and one New York Giant — chose to kneel during the anthem.

One last thing…
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