Finally, a white player knelt during an NFL protest — the biggest one so far.

Monday night's NFL game between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants wasn't particularly consequential.

It's still the pre-season — the games don't technically count, new players are just getting their feet wet, and the matches unfold with a fraction of the fanfare we'll see on display in October.

But if you happened to watch the game at FirstEnergy Stadium on Aug. 21, you may have witnessed a big moment in NFL history.



The largest NFL national anthem protest to date took place during the game, with nearly a dozen players kneeling in unison.

The league's national anthem protests, which began last year, are focused on drawing attention to the social injustices faced by people of color.


Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images.

Another four athletes showed solidarity with their protesting teammates by standing alongside the huddled group, their hands placed supportingly on the kneeling players' shoulders.

As Cleveland's The Plain Dealer reported, Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson, Jabrill Peppers, and Christian Kirksey were among the handful of players who participated. But it was tight end Seth DeValve's participation that's especially noteworthy.

DeValve became the first white NFL player to protest by also kneeling during the national anthem on Monday night.

"We wanted to do something with our platform," DeValve told reporters after the game.

The kneeling players, he explained, chose to pray together instead of stand.

The Browns' protest comes almost exactly one year after Colin Kaepernick first made waves for refusing to stand during the national anthem.

Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images.

Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, had been a lone voice on the sidelines then, contributing his refusal to stand to the systemic mistreatment of people of color — particularly when it came to police brutality.

In the months since, Kaepernick, now a free agent, has had trouble signing with another NFL team. It's a struggle, many have argued, directly resulting from his protests.

But the conversation Kaepernick helped get started on the football field shows no signs of fading away.

The Browns' protest on Monday may have been the largest to date, but it wasn't the first of the pre-season games.

Seattle's Michael Bennett seemed to have picked up where Kaepernick left off, choosing to sit during the national anthem for his pre-season matches.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images.

"This is what I believe in," Bennett said of his decision. "Changing society, going into communities, doing organic work, and continuing to push the message that things aren't fair."

Last week, teammate Justin Britt supported Bennett, by standing next to him and placing a hand on his shoulder in solidarity.

The continued protests are happening at an especially charged moment when it comes to race relations in the U.S.

It's only been days since a car driven by a purported white supremacist struck a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The terror attack — which killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured at least 19 others — reflects the state of a country grappling with a growing resurgence of mainstreamed white supremacy and a president hesitant to condemn their ideology.

"Seeing everything in Virginia and stuff that is going on," Bennet explained, "I just wanted to be able to use my platform to continuously speak out on injustice."

The sports arena has long been a place for social discourse and political expression. It looks like the 2017-2018 NFL season will continue that important tradition.

Photo courtesy of Capital One
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Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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