It was a far cry from previous seasons, when Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL did not assist then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protests towards police brutality and racism.
Kaepernick has not performed in the NFL since he sparked controversy by sitting, then kneeling, throughout the National Anthem earlier than a number of video games to protest the police shootings of Black males and different social injustices confronted by the Black group. His protests acquired some assist from fellow gamers but in addition attracted criticism, most notably from President Donald Trump.
All that was earlier than the protests sparked by the demise of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody renewed consideration on the Black Live Matter motion.
Here’s what unfolded throughout Sunday’s video games.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Football Team
The Eagles remained in their locker room throughout the pregame taking part in of the National Anthem earlier than their match towards the Washington Football Team on Sunday.
As they kneeled, a monitor displayed the names of Black folks killed in police shootings.
Washington quarterback Alex Smith and different group members wore T-shirts that learn “finish racism” on the back during their warm-ups on Sunday. The front of the shirts read “injustice towards any of us is injustice towards all of us.”
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
The Patriots stood for the National Anthem throughout their season opener towards the Dolphins, however the Dolphins remained in their locker rooms for each anthems.
“We don’t need another publicity parade,” the gamers mentioned, “so we’ll just stay inside until it’s time to play the game.”
Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Green Bay Packers joined different teams who selected to remain in their locker rooms throughout the National Anthem earlier than their recreation towards the Minnesota Vikings, who stayed on the area.
“We decided as a team to remain in the locker room during the playing of the National Anthem and ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ so as to not distract from our message that we stand united for social justice and racial equality,” Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy mentioned in a press release.
“This is part of our continued call on our leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue that results in change. We feel it is important for all of us to participate in these difficult conversations with humility and be open to different perspectives.”
Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 as an officer knelt on his neck. All 4 officers concerned face homicide fees and have been fired.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The recreation between the Colts and the Jaguars, the just one on Sunday to characteristic spectators in the stands, noticed the Jaguars keep in the locker room whereas the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and the National Anthem had been performed.
“We are a unified team. And as a team, we have decided to remain in the locker room during the pregame playing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “The Star Spangled Banner” as an extension of our protest of racial injustice against the Black community,” the Jaguars mentioned in a press release after the recreation. “We understand that not everyone will agree with our position and demonstration; however, we hope that all will seek to understand the reason for it. We all want the same thing: equality and justice.”
The Colts gamers selected to face and lock arms on the sideline for the anthems. Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich elected to kneel throughout the track. The TV broadcast confirmed followers standing with their palms over their hearts.
“Today our football team made a statement on behalf of the Black communities in our state of Indiana; but also on behalf of all Black communities from where our players and coaches call home,” the Colts mentioned in a press release. “Our intent is to bring attention to the issue of systemic racism and the injustice inherit therein. We also wanted to demonstrate a symbolic gesture of how we believe meaningful change happens.
The team said their “two-fold symbolic gesture of stepping ahead and kneeling” was a statement of their unity, strength, and desire to stand with Black communities “in the combat for justice and equality.”
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions
The Bears shared a unified response against racial injustice — but each player showed it in their own way before the team faced the Lions.
Some of the Bears kneeled during the National Anthem while others stayed in the locker room the entire time. A few players stood for the anthem and linked arms with their teammates, while others raised their fists in the air.
The Lions took a similar stance, with players choosing to respond in different ways. Several players left the field during the National Anthem while the rest stayed, some taking a knee.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Carolina Panthers
Before their game against the Raiders, the Panthers stood on the sidelines during the National Anthem, with some players taking a knee or holding their fists in the air.
“My factor was for the group to decide and no matter they determine is OK.”
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
Both the Bills and the Jets remained in their respective locker rooms during the National Anthem.
A few of the Bills players also wore helmets that read “Black Lives Matter” on the back.
Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens
Several Ravens players took a knee during the National Anthem while some chose to sit on the bench before the team’s game against the Browns.
“We respect and assist our gamers’ proper to protest peacefully. This was an illustration for justice and equality for all Americans. These are core values we are able to all assist,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said in a statement. “This was not a protest towards our nation, the army or the flag. Our gamers stay devoted to uplifting their communities and making America higher.”
A couple of gamers with the Browns additionally selected to kneel throughout the anthem.
Some players wore T-shirts that read “Be the Solution” on the front and listed the names of Black people killed in police shootings.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Seahawks and the Falcons were on the field for the National Anthem and a few Seahawks players kneeled.
“We assist our gamers’ capacity to lift their particular person and collective voices and proceed to create a lot wanted change in the world,” the Falcons said in a statement. “Together we’ll proceed to shine a light-weight on social points that have an effect on our group.”
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Players on each teams had been seen standing in the center of the area arms locked throughout the National Anthem.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints
“I imagine that we must always love all people and all people ought to have the alternative to maximise their very own potential,” quarterback Tom Brady said.
The Saints wore clothing or masks with messaging. Head Coach Sean Payton wore a face mask that had “Breonna Taylor” written on it.
Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
#ItTakesAllOfUs” the tweet learn.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams
CNN’s Amir Vera contributed to this report.