Jeff Fisher OK with Rams players raising fists during anthem

LOS ANGELES -- Rams coach Jeff Fisher had yet to address Kenny Britt and Robert Quinn since they joined a collection of players throughout the NFL by raising a fist in the air during the national anthem, but he didn't seem to have much of a problem with it.

"They have the right," Fisher said during Tuesday's availability. "They totally have the right, and I get the issue."

Fisher's reverence for the national anthem was evident during a episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks," which showed the 58-year-old coach talking his players through the proper way to set up for it during a team meeting. But Britt and Quinn held their right fists in the air before the Monday Night Football opener from Levi's Stadium in an attempt to make a statement against racial oppression and inequality in the United States, a string of silent protests sparked by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Britt, who did not speak to the media after the game, was also one of five Rams players to raise his hands before a game in the aftermath of Michael Brown's murder in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.

Said Quinn: "Fisher asked us to stand, so I respect him enough to do that. But at least to show awareness, raise my fist, show support out there that you have support throughout the league. I didn't want to try to distract the team -- just want to have my right of freedom."

Niners safety Eric Reid joined Kaepernick in kneeling, as did four members of the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The Broncos' Brandon Marshall has done the same, at the expense of losing sponsors. Antoine Bethea and Eli Harold of the Niners also raised their fists Monday, as did Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty of the Patriots on Sunday.

Fisher was unaware that Britt and Quinn would follow suit and didn't know about their actions until after the Rams' 28-0 loss.

"They have the right to do that," Fisher said. "I think there’s a difference between what they did and sitting down or kneeling down or sitting on the bench and things like that. But they have that right, and I respect that.”

Some additional notes from Monday's media availability ...

  • Fisher spoke to two of his team captains, running back Todd Gurley and defensive tackle Aaron Donald, both of whom were hit with penalties for acting out. Donald was ejected after shoving 49ers receiver Quinton Patton and then making contact with an official (Fisher said Donald slapped the official's hand away). Gurley was hit with a 15-yard penalty for taunting, which occurred after he flipped the ball to an opponent. "We addressed it," Fisher said. "These are two captains that had significant penalties in this game, and we just can’t have that.”

  • Asked what disappointed him most about the game, Fisher said: "The constant inability to get back into the game. ... We had opportunities to get back in the game; we just never capitalized on it."

  • Fisher defended the playcalling of unseasoned offensive coordinator Rob Boras, saying a lot of it was "dictated by what the defense was doing and by what we were trying to do. We wanted to get the run game going; we needed to get the run game going. We felt that, even at halftime, being down two scores, we just needed to take balance in this game and make some plays and get some points and we'll find a way to win this. ... He's a good playcaller. We just didn't execute for him."

  • Fisher said he was "very pleased" with second-year right tackle Rob Havenstein, who battled back from an injury to his right foot and reclaimed his starting spot on the offensive line Monday. Jamon Brown and Cody Wichmann rotated at right guard throughout the game. Fisher wanted to see them both play and will settle on one "by the end of the week."

  • Receiver Nelson Spruce is "probably a week or two away," Fisher said during his weekly radio show on ESPNLA (KSPN, 710 AM). Spruce shined in the preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys but also injured his knee in that game. "He's coming along," Fisher said.

  • The Rams came out of Monday's game healthy. So, there's a positive.