NFL Sunday: This is how groups highlighted racial inequality within 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 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.

This is what unfolded throughout Sunday’s video games.

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.

The 2 groups gathered on the sphere and locked arms in the course of the taking part in of the hymn “Carry Each Voice and Sing,” referred to as the Black Nationwide Anthem, sung by Grammy Award-winning Alicia Keys. The NFL had the tune was performed or carried out earlier than each recreation on opening weekend. After the tune, 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 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.”

It was a turbulent offseason for Washington through which the staff retired its oft-criticized, racially insensitive identify, launched an inside investigation after 15 former feminine staff and two journalists who coated the staff accused staff staffers of sexual harassment and verbal abuse, and employed a Black president, the primary in NFL historical past.

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.

The Dolphins introduced their resolution on Thursday in a quick video that criticized the NFL for what they known as “fluff and empty gestures.”

“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.”

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 photographs” in crimson letters, the variety of instances 29-year-old Jacob Blake was shot within the again by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on August 23.

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.”

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 “finish racism” on the again throughout their warm-ups. The entrance of the shirts learn “injustice in opposition to any of us is injustice in opposition to all of us.”
The Vikings honored George Floyd’s household earlier than the staff’s residence opener. The household, in attendance at U.S. Financial institution Stadium, was acknowledged after the pre-game efficiency of “Carry Each Voice and Sing.” The Gjallarhorn was not sounded in honor of Floyd and “others who not have a voice resulting from racism,” the staff stated on Twitter.

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.”

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 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.

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.

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.

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 is not one thing new,” Panthers proprietor David Tepper advised Invoice Voth, the staff’s assistant director of digital media.

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

The Raiders stood in the course of the anthem and locked arms.

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.

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 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.”

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.”

"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 in the course of the anthem.

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

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.

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.
Throughout the opening kickoff, all 22 gamers from each groups knelt on the sphere.

“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.”

Seahawks gamers additionally wore “We Need Justice” T-shirts “to assist result in change and consciousness in direction of social injustice,” the staff 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.

Gamers on each groups had been seen standing in the course of the sphere arms locked in the course of the Nationwide Anthem.

“Collectively 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 one participant to stay within the locker room in the course of the Nationwide Anthem Sunday, in accordance with ESPN.
A number of Buccaneers gamers wore messages on their helmets that learn “Cease Hate” or “Finish Racism.”

“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.

“Breonna Taylor #SayHerName” the staff 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 within the locker room, whereas two 49ers gamers kneeled in the course of the Nationwide Anthem Sunday, in accordance with the CNN affiliate KPIX.
The 49ers tweeted a photograph of the staff locking arms ultimately zone whereas “Carry Each Voice and Sing” was performed. Working again Jerick McKinnon and receiver Richie James Jr. took a knee in the course of the Nationwide 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 sort out Dontari Poe was the one Dallas participant to kneel in the course of the Nationwide Anthem Sunday, in accordance with CNN affiliate KTVT-TV. A number of Rams gamers additionally knelt.
Earlier than the sport, although, Rams gamers wore “Black Lives Matter” shirts with footage 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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