"Before Colin Kaepernick, one NFL player silently protested the national anthem, and it was closer to the time that Tommie Smith and John Carlos made their protest, than to when Kaepernick made his.
But David Meggyesy, former linebacker, activist author and players'union executive, was alone among players back in 1968. Kaepernick has now been joined by a teammate, a fellow NFL player and, notably, U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe last weekend"
""That’s wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Good for those guys,"Meggyesytold Sporting Newslast weekend,upon hearing of the 49ers’ Eric Reid and the Seahawks’ Jeremy Lane also kneeling and sitting, respectively, before their games. (Meggyesy spoke to SN before Rapinoe knelt during the anthem in solidarity with Kaepernick Sunday night before her National Women’s Soccer League game in Chicago.)
"This puts it front and center into the consciousness of Joe Public,"Meggyesy continued. "It’s in the mindset of fans that now, it's not just about that one player. You can’t just focus in on that player, you’ve got to focus on the issues at hand."
Meggyesy, 74, made his protest gesture before a game for the then-St. Louis Cardinals late in the 1968 season — not long after Smith and Carlos raised their fists on the podium at the Olympic Games in Mexico City.
In defiance of a new rule instituted after the Olympics protest by commissioner Pete Rozelle, requiring players to stand in line facing the flag with helmet under one arm and hand over heart during the anthem, Meggyesy held his helmet in front of him with both hands and bowed his head."
David Steele | Sporting News