NFL Sunday: Here’s how teams highlighted racial inequality in the US


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.

The two teams gathered on the area and locked arms throughout the taking part in of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often known as the Black National Anthem, sung by Grammy Award-winning Alicia Keys. The NFL had the track was performed or carried out before every game on opening weekend. After the track, the Eagles returned to their lockers whereas Washington gamers kneeled on the sideline for a second of silence earlier than going inside.

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.”

It was a turbulent offseason for Washington in which the team retired its oft-criticized, racially insensitive name, launched an internal investigation after 15 former feminine workers and two journalists who lined the group accused group staffers of sexual harassment and verbal abuse, and hired a Black president, the first in NFL historical past.

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.

The Dolphins introduced their determination on Thursday in a short video that criticized the NFL for what they referred to as “fluff and empty gestures.”

“We don’t need another publicity parade,” the gamers mentioned, “so we’ll just stay inside until it’s time to play the game.”

The cleats worn by Cam Newton of the New England Patriots before the game between the Patriots and the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 13.
Patriots quarterback Cam Newton made a press release together with his black pregame cleats. The cleats featured the phrases, “Say their names,” “It ends now” and “No Justice, No Peace,” in white letters in addition to “7 shots” in crimson letters, the variety of occasions 29-year-old Jacob Blake was shot in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on August 23.

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.”

The Minnesota Vikings stand with arms linked as the team pays tribute to George Floyd before the game against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, September 13.
The Packers additionally wore shirts that learn “end racism” on the again throughout their warm-ups. The entrance of the shirts learn “injustice against any of us is injustice against all of us.”
The Vikings honored George Floyd’s household earlier than the group’s residence opener. The household, in attendance at U.S. Bank Stadium, was acknowledged after the pre-game efficiency of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The Gjallarhorn was not sounded in honor of Floyd and “others who no longer have a voice due to racism,” the group mentioned on Twitter.

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.”

Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers, No. 34, and other teammates stand for "Lift Every Voice and Sing" before the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Colts.

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.

Chicago Bears players kneel 
during the National Anthem before the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Sunday, September 13, 2020.

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.

Carolina Panthers players wear End Racism shirts as they warm up before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders on September 13, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“We had Eric Reid right here kneeling the final two seasons, so it isn’t one thing new,” Panthers proprietor David Tepper told Bill Voth, the group’s assistant director of digital media.

“My factor was for the group to decide and no matter they determine is OK.”

The Raiders stood during the anthem and locked arms.

New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

Both the Bills and the Jets remained in their respective locker rooms during the National Anthem.

Detail view of a Black Lives Matter sticker on the back of a football helmet worn by Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes before the Bills' game against the New York Jets on Sunday, September 13
Some gamers 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.”

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.”

"Be the Solution" T-shirts worn by the Cleveland Browns during pregame warm-up against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

A couple of gamers with the Browns additionally selected to kneel throughout the anthem.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield reversed his determination to kneel for the anthem and launched a statement saying that he felt kneeling “will solely create extra division or dialogue about the gesture, fairly than be an answer in direction of our nation’s downside at hand.”

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.

The Seattle Seahawks line up in the end zone as "Lift Every Voice and Sing" is played before their game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday.
During the opening kickoff, all 22 gamers from each teams knelt on the area.

“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.”

Seahawks players also wore “We Want Justice” T-shirts “to assist result in change and consciousness in direction of social injustice,” the team tweeted.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Chargers stand in unity during the National Anthem at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Sunday, September 13.

Players on each teams had been seen standing in the center of the area arms locked throughout the National Anthem.

“Together as a unified entrance,” the Bengals tweeted.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lock arms in a show of unity while listening to "Lift Every Voice" before their game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, September 13.
Saints security Malcolm Jenkins was the solely participant to stay in the locker room throughout the National Anthem Sunday, according to ESPN.
Several Buccaneers players wore messages on their helmets that learn “Stop Hate” or “End Racism.”

“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.

“Breonna Taylor #SayHerName” the team tweeted.

Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers stand together during a presentation on social justice before their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on Sunday, September 13.
The Cardinals stayed in the locker room, whereas two 49ers gamers kneeled throughout the National Anthem Sunday, based on the CNN affiliate KPIX.
The 49ers tweeted a photo of the group locking arms in the finish zone whereas “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was played. Running back Jerick McKinnon and receiver Richie James Jr. took a knee during the National Anthem.

#ItTakesAllOfUs” the tweet learn.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams

A general view of the Los Angeles Rams sideline during the National Anthem before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, September 13.
Cowboys defensive deal with Dontari Poe was the solely Dallas participant to kneel throughout the National Anthem Sunday, based on CNN affiliate KTVT-TV. Several Rams gamers additionally knelt.
Before the recreation, although, Rams players wore “Black Lives Matter” shirts with photos of various victims of police violence together with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Tamir Rice.

CNN’s Amir Vera contributed to this report.





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