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.

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Truth

Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign. We don't do PSAs. We also need to update so to explain truth – the nonprofit behind the truth youth smoking prevention campaign – you could also say this in a funny way – best known for sharing the facts about smoking and vaping or pull from some old campaigns. Just layer in a description of truth and who the campaign is., is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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LUSH

Handmade cosmetics company Lush is putting its money where its mouth is and taking a bold step for climate change action.

On September 20 in the U.S. and September 27 in Canada, Lush will shut the doors of its 250 shops, e-commerce sites, manufacturing facilities, and headquarters for a day, in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike taking place around the world. Lush is encouraging its 5000+ employees "to join this critical movement and take a stand until global leaders are forced to face the climate crisis and enact change."

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

The fine folks at Forbes are currently falling all over themselves trying to clean up the mess they created by publishing their 2019 list of 100 Most Innovative Leaders.

The problem: The list included 99 men and one woman. For those not so good with the math, that means according to Forbes, only 1% of the country's most innovative leaders are female.

Have you ever watched a movie that's so abysmally bad that you wonder how it ever even got made? Where you think, "Hundreds and hundreds of people had to have been directly involved in the production of this film. Did any of them ever think to say, 'Hey, maybe we should just scrap this idea altogether?"

That's how it feels to see a list like this. So how did Forbes come up with these results?

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Innovation