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 in opposition to police brutality and racism.
Kaepernick has not performed within the NFL since he sparked controversy by sitting, then kneeling, in the course of the Nationwide Anthem earlier than a number of video games to protest the police shootings of Black males and different social injustices confronted by the Black neighborhood. His protests acquired some assist from fellow gamers but additionally attracted criticism, most notably from President Donald Trump.
All that was earlier than the protests sparked by the dying of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody renewed consideration on the Black Dwell Matter motion.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Soccer Staff
The Eagles remained of their locker room in the course of the pregame taking part in of the Nationwide Anthem earlier than their match in opposition to the Washington Soccer Staff on Sunday.
As they kneeled, a monitor displayed the names of Black folks killed in police shootings.
Washington quarterback Alex Smith and different staff members wore T-shirts that learn “finish racism” on the again throughout their warm-ups on Sunday. The entrance of the shirts learn “injustice in opposition to any of us is injustice in opposition to all of us.”
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
The Patriots stood for the Nationwide Anthem throughout their season opener in opposition to the Dolphins, however the Dolphins remained of their locker rooms for each anthems.
“We do not want one other publicity parade,” the gamers stated, “so we’ll simply keep inside till it is time to play the sport.”
Inexperienced Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Inexperienced Bay Packers joined different groups who selected to remain of their locker rooms in the course of the Nationwide Anthem earlier than their recreation in opposition to the Minnesota Vikings, who stayed on the sphere.
“We determined as a staff to stay within the locker room in the course of the taking part in of the Nationwide Anthem and ‘Carry Each Voice and Sing’ in order to not distract from our message that we stand united for social justice and racial equality,” Inexperienced Bay Packers president Mark Murphy stated in a press release.
“That is a part of our continued name on our leaders to interact in significant dialogue that leads to change. We really feel it’s important for all of us to take part in these troublesome conversations with humility and be open to totally different views.”
Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on Might 25 as an officer knelt on his neck. All 4 officers concerned face homicide expenses and have been fired.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The sport between the Colts and the Jaguars, the one one on Sunday to characteristic spectators within the stands, noticed the Jaguars keep within the locker room whereas the hymn “Carry Each Voice and Sing” and the Nationwide Anthem had been performed.
“We’re a unified staff. And as a staff, we have now determined to stay within the locker room in the course of the pregame taking part in of “Carry Each Voice and Sing” and “The Star Spangled Banner” as an extension of our protest of racial injustice in opposition to the Black neighborhood,” the Jaguars stated in a press release after the sport. “We perceive that not everybody will agree with our place and demonstration; nevertheless, we hope that each one will search to know the explanation for it. All of us need the identical factor: 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 in the course of the tune. The TV broadcast confirmed followers standing with their fingers over their hearts.
“At the moment our soccer staff made a press release on behalf of the Black communities in our state of Indiana; but additionally on behalf of all Black communities from the place our gamers and coaches name residence,” the Colts stated in a press release. “Our intent is to deliver consideration to the difficulty of systemic racism and the injustice inherit therein. We additionally wished to display a symbolic gesture of how we imagine significant change occurs.
The staff stated their “two-fold symbolic gesture of stepping ahead and kneeling” was a press release of their unity, energy, and need to face with Black communities “within the combat for justice and equality.”
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions
The Bears shared a unified response in opposition to racial injustice — however every participant confirmed it in their very own manner earlier than the staff confronted the Lions.
A number of the Bears kneeled in the course of the Nationwide Anthem whereas others stayed within the locker room all the time. A couple of gamers stood for the anthem and linked arms with their teammates, whereas others raised their fists within the air.
The Lions took an identical stance, with gamers selecting to reply in several methods. A number of gamers left the sphere in the course of the Nationwide Anthem whereas the remaining stayed, some taking a knee.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Carolina Panthers
Earlier than their recreation in opposition to the Raiders, the Panthers stood on the sidelines in the course of the Nationwide Anthem, with some gamers taking a knee or holding their fists within the air.
“My factor was for the staff to decide and no matter they determine is OK.”
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Payments
Each the Payments and the Jets remained of their respective locker rooms in the course of the Nationwide Anthem.
A couple of of the Payments gamers additionally wore helmets that learn “Black Lives Matter” on the again.
Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens
A number of Ravens gamers took a knee in the course of the Nationwide Anthem whereas some selected to take a seat on the bench earlier than the staff’s recreation in opposition to the Browns.
“We respect and assist our gamers’ proper to protest peacefully. This was an illustration for justice and equality for all Individuals. These are core values we are able to all assist,” Ravens proprietor Steve Bisciotti stated in a press release. “This was not a protest in opposition to our nation, the navy 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 in the course of the anthem.
Some gamers wore T-shirts that learn “Be the Resolution” on the entrance and listed the names of Black folks killed in police shootings.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Seahawks and the Falcons had been on the sphere for the Nationwide Anthem and some Seahawks gamers kneeled.
“We assist our gamers’ potential to boost their particular person and collective voices and proceed to create a lot wanted change on this planet,” the Falcons stated in a press release. “Collectively we’ll proceed to shine a light-weight on social points that have an effect on our neighborhood.”
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Gamers on each groups had been seen standing in the course of the sphere arms locked in the course of the Nationwide Anthem.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints
“I imagine that we must always love all people and all people ought to have the chance to maximise their very own potential,” quarterback Tom Brady stated.
The Saints wore clothes or masks with messaging. Head Coach Sean Payton wore a face masks 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.