Michigan players lock arms in circle during national anthem

Sunday, 08 October 2017, 10:46:06 AM. It was as an apparent symbol of solidarity reminiscent of the hundreds of NFL players who have exercised similar anthem routines over the past weeks.

A group of about 20 Michigan football players stood in a circle with their arms locked during the national anthem, some with their heads bowed in prayer, ahead of their rivalry game against Michigan State at Ann Arbor — as an apparent symbol of solidarity reminiscent of the hundreds of NFL players who have exercised similar anthem routines over the past several weeks.

The player circle came after a moment of silence for the lost lives in the Las Vegas mass shooting. 

Michigan players have raised their fists during the anthem in the past, but not in a form of unity like this. 

More than 250 NFL players knelt during the national anthem several weeks ago as a nod to peaceful protests for racial equality that Colin Kaepernick began last year. The protests were reignited after President Donald Trump’s rhetoric at an Alabama rally Sept. 22, when he used profanity to describe protesting players and called for their firing.

In late September, a Michigan student knelt for 24 hours in a row to protest against racism. 

Also in September, coach Jim Harbaugh was asked how he'd feel if any of his players knelt during the anthem. "I would respect their right to do so," he said then. 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S WEEK 6

michigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 1 Michigan State running back Madre London (28) celebrates a touchdown with guard Tyler Higby (70) during the first half at Michigan Stadium.  Mike Carter, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 2 Michigan State running back Madre London (28) scores a touchdown over Michigan defensive back Jared Davis (23) during the first half.  Mike Carter, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 3 Michigan State wide receiver Felton Davis III (18) makes a reception in front of Michigan defensive back Lavert Hill (24) and head coach Jim Harbaugh (center) in the first half at Michigan Stadium.  Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 4 Michigan State running back Madre London (28) rushes in the first half against Michigan at Michigan Stadium.  Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 5 Michigan wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (9) attempts to make a catch against Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne (2) during the first half.  Mike Carter, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 6 Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) runs for a touchdown during the second quarter against Texas A&M at Kyle Field.  Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 7 Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond (11) attempts to escape the grasp of Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans (32) during the first quarter at Kyle Field.  Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 8 South Carolina linebacker T.J. Brunson (6) returns a fumble for a touchdown against Arkansas in the second half at Williams-Brice Stadium.  Jeff Blake, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 9 Navy players rush the field after defeating Air Force 48-45 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 10 Navy wide receiver Tyler Carmona (88) catches the go-ahead touchdown in front of Air Force defensive back Marquis Griffin (2) during the fourth quarter at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 11 Miami players celebrate during their dramatic win over Florida State.  Melina Vastola, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 12 Miami wide receiver Darrell Langham (81) scores the winning touchdown with 6 seconds to go against Florida State.  Melina Vastola, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 13 Notre Dame cornerback Shaun Crawford (20) breaks up a pass intended for North Carolina wide receiver Josh Cabrera (13) in the fourth quarter.  Bob Donnan, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 14 Southern California quarterback Matt Fink (19) celebrates with wide receiver Trevon Sidney (81) after scoring on a 51-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against Oregon State.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 15 Miami quarterback Malik Rosier (12) runs the ball past Florida State defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas (90) during the second half at Doak Campbell Stadium.  Melina Vastola, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 16 Southern California players celebrate after their win over Oregon State.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 17 Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins (2) dives for the touchdown during the second half against Maryland at Ohio Stadium.  Joseph Maiorana, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 18 LSU running back Derrius Guice (5) does the gator chomp after beating the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.  Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 19 LSU fullback Tory Carter (44) scores a touchdown against Florida during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.  Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 20 Florida running back Malik Davis (20) runs with the ball as LSU linebacker Devin White (40) tackles during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.  Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 21 TCU head coach Gary Patterson throws a football into the stands after the game against West Virginia at Amon G. Carter Stadium.  Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 22 TCU quarterback Kenny Hill (7) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game-winning touchdown during the fourth quarter against West Virginia at Amon G. Carter Stadium.  Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 23 TCU quarterback Kenny Hill (7) dives and scores the game-winning touchdown past West Virginia safety Dravon Askew-Henry (6) during the fourth quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium.  Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 24 Navy Midshipmen running back Darryl Bonner celebrates after scoring a second quarter touchdown in front of Air Force Falcons defensive lineman Santo Coppola at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 25 Auburn Tigers running back Kerryon Johnson scores a touchdown against the Ole Miss Rebels during the first quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium.  John Reed, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 26 Syracuse Orange wide receiver Steve Ishmael reacts following his touchdown catch and run against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the fourth quarter at the Carrier Dome.  Rich Barnes, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 27 Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Austin Allen passes over South Carolina Gamecocks linebacker T.J. Brunson in the first quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium.  Jeff Blake, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 28 South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp disputes a pass interference call in the first quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Williams-Brice Stadium.  Jeff Blake, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 29 West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Gary Jennings is tackled by TCU Horned Frogs safety Ridwan Issahaku and linebacker Travin Howard during the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium.  Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 30 West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Will Grier throws after being pressured by TCU Horned Frogs defensive end Ben Banogu during the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium.  Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 31 Navy Midshipmen running back Malcolm Perry runs past Air Force Falcons defensive back James Jones for a touchdown during the second quarter at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 32 LSU Tigers wide receiver Russell Gage jumps over Florida Gators defensive back Duke Dawson during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.  Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 33 Colorado State Rams wide receiver Olabisi Johnson grabs the pass before it lands on the field during the first quarter against the Utah State Aggies at Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium.  Chris Nicoll, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 34 Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Landen Akers congratulates Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Kyle Kempt after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.  Mark D. Smith, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 35 East Carolina Pirates wide receiver Jimmy Williams makes a second half catch against Temple Owls at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The Temple Owls defeated the East Carolina Pirates 34-10.  James Guillory, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 36 Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley leaps to the goal line to score a touchdown during a football game against Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field.  Jim Young, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 37 Temple Owls defensive back Lindwoood Crump knocks the ball away on the pass attempt to East Carolina Pirates wide receiver Trevon Brown during the second half at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.  James Guillory, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 38 East Carolina Pirates defensive back Colby Gore breaks up the pass attempt to Temple Owls wide receiver Ventell Bryant at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.  James Guillory, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 39 Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Marchie Murdock eludes Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Kenneth Murray and Oklahoma Sooners cornerback Parnell Motley for a touchdown at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.  Mark D. Smith, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 40 Navy Midshipmen stand on the field in formation during the pre-game March On before the game against the Air Force Falcons at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 41 Air Force Falcons wide receiver Marcus Bennett catches a pass over Navy Midshipmen cornerback Elijah Merchant during the first quarter at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 42 Navy Midshipmen running back Malcolm Perry runs past Air Force Falcons defensive back Robert Bullard for a 91 yard touchdown during the first quarter at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 43 Penn State Nittany Lions cheerleaders perform during a break in the action during a football game against Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field.  Jim Young, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 44 Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Keke Coutee catches a touchdown pass as Kansas Jayhawks safety Emmanuel Moore defends in the second half at Memorial Stadium.  Jay Biggerstaff, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 45 Syracuse Orange quarterback Eric Dungey runs into the end zone for a touchdown in front of Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Dane Jackson during the third quarter at the Carrier Dome.  Rich Barnes, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 46 Maryland Terrapins quarterback Max Bortenschlager drops to throw and has the ball stripped by Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman Nick Bosa during the first quarter at Ohio Stadium.  Joseph Maiorana, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 47 Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive back Justus Parker celebrates with defensive lineman Kolin Hill and linebacker Dakota Allen after returning a fumble for a touchdown against the Kansas Jayhawks in the second half at Memorial Stadium.  Jay Biggerstaff, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 48 Texas Tech Red Raiders running back Desmond Nisby scores touchdown as Kansas Jayhawks safety Mike Lee defends in the second half at Memorial Stadium.  Jay Biggerstaff, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 49 Ole Miss Rebels receiver A.J. Brown makes a catch as Auburn Tigers defensive back Daniel Thomas applies pressure during the third quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium.  John Reed, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 50 Navy Midshipmen running back Darryl Bonner leaps over Air Force Falcons defensive back Robert Bullard for a touchdown during the second quarter at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sportsmichigan-players-lock-arms-in-circle-during-national-anthem photo 51 Syracuse Orange defensive lineman Alton Robinson sacks Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Max Browne that would cause a fumble during the third quarter at the Carrier Dome.  Rich Barnes, USA TODAY Sports

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