After the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars stood in solidarity, the Jaguars wasted no time taking care of other important matters on the football field.

On a day where most of the NFL and its players protested U.S. President Donald Trump’s criticism of players who kneel during the national anthem, Jacksonville’s Marcedes Lewis caught three of Blake Bortles’ four touchdown passes as the Jaguars routed Baltimore, 44-7, in their fifth game in Britain’s Wembley Stadium.

Allen Hurns and Leonard Fournette also scored for the Jaguars (2-1), who have won each of their last three games played in London.

Credit much of the Jaguars dominance to their defense, as Jacksonville held the Ravens (2-1) to just 186 yards of total offense, including minus-1 yard in the first quarter.

They managed 15 yards in the first half, and picked up only 12 first downs.

The story of the day, though, was the mounting protests around the league in response to some controversial comments made by President Trump over the weekend, in which he said that NFL owners should fire players who do not stand or show support for the country’s anthem.

The protests started more than a year ago when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the anthem as a protest of police treatment of minorities.

This season, no team has signed him, and some supporters believe NFL owners are avoiding him because of the controversy.

On Sunday, most NFL players locked arms with their teammates – some standing, others kneeling. A handful of teams stayed off the field until after “The Star-Spangled Banner” to avoid the issue altogether.

The Jaguars and Ravens, as well as Jacksonville owner Shad Khan took part in the protests before kickoff, which was met with a mixture of boos and cheers.

“I’m trying to make sure this team sticks together. It’s an unusual situation,” said Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone. “There’s no book that tells you how to do it.”

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had his worst game in a long time. He finished 8 for 18 for 28 yards, was intercepted twice, once by A.J. Bouye in the second quarter and once by Jalen Ramsey in the third.

“It’s not about race,” Bouye said on the protesting before kickoff. “It’s not about black and white. It’s about right and wrong. I have respect for the military. I have family in the military. I know we’re in a military town in Jacksonville. I love all the people who go out and fight for our country. I love the family members – the brothers, the sisters, the mothers, the fathers, the sons, the daughters – those that are at home.

“But I have respect for all those people – black, white, Mexican – who have lost children or somebody else to a police officer. That’s what it’s all about. This isn’t about pointing fingers or calling someone racist.”

Sunday’s game was the opener in the NFL International Series. Next up, the New Orleans Saints and quarterback Drew Brees take on Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins in Week #4, Sunday, 1 October.

The series shifts to Twickenham Stadium in southwest London, for two more matchups.

In Week #7, the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams clash inside the home of rugby union, followed the next week by the Minnesota Vikings, who will begin the post-Adrian Peterson era this year, taking on the Cleveland Browns.

The contests are slated to be televised locally on Sky Sports.




W| By Michael T. Lyle Jr                                              #InspireLSSports

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