University of Pittsburgh kicker Ian Troost knelt during the national anthem before the Panthers' home game against NC State on Saturday at Heinz Field.
Jerry DiPaola of the Tribune-Review noted offensive tackle Jaryd Jones-Smith stood behind Troost and placed his hand on the kicker's shoulder. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said the team has held discussions about the hot-button topic.
"What we've talked about is, if you're going to do that, you're trying to make a statement, we're going to stick together," Narduzzi said. "Someone had his hand on his shoulder saying, 'We're with you.'"
He also said: "I'm never going to tell a guy you can't do something. I know I'm going to stand and put my hand over my heart."
Meanwhile, Panthers defensive back Avonte Maddox said he supported Troost "100 percent" but wasn't sure whether the protests during the anthem make a serious impact.
"Is really taking that knee going to prove anything?" he said. "That's a statement for 30 seconds. You want to take action. If you really want to get out and do something, we want to go out in the real world and do things to make actual change, not 30 seconds of fame making a statement out there. Is that really going to help us?"
Troost wasn't made available for comment immediately following Pittsburgh's 35-17 loss to the Wolfpack.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started refusing to stand for the anthem during last year's NFL preseason.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he told NFL Media in August 2016. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
The debate surrounding the issue has become reignited in recent weeks since United States President Donald Trump suggested NFL owners should fire players who protest during the anthem.
An Albright College spokesperson confirmed backup quarterback Gyree Durante was dismissed from the Division III football program this week after deciding to kneel for the anthem.