Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson lead joint protest before kick-off, players react to so-called ‘boos’

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The 2020 NFL season has officially started, but the game certainly has a different feel amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Arrowhead Stadium was not at full capacity as the Kansas City Chiefs unveiled their championship banner and a live version of the national anthem was not played inside the stadium. However, a prerecorded version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played on the video board as players performed several demos during the national anthem, locking their arms on the sideline in a moment in unison. The Houston Texans did not take the field during the anthem, choosing to stay in the locker room.

Alex Okafor took a knee and threw his fist in the air as two Chiefs players put their hands on his shoulders, showing solidarity. The NFL presented the anthem while the game was broadcast and posted it to their social media account shortly thereafter.

Once the Texans got onto the field, players from both teams stood at the 50-yard line and blocked their arms in unison. Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt were in the center of the line before wishing each other good luck before the start of the contest.

The public speech announcer asked for a moment of silence during this, but some thought they could hear “boos” from the crowd.

“The moment of unity that I personally thought was good,” Watt said, via James Palmer of the NFL Network. “I mean the hues back then were miserable. I do not quite understand this. There was no flag involved. There was nothing but two teams coming together to show their unity. ”

Others, including Texans coach Bill O’Brien, say they didn’t hear those “boos”.

“To be honest, I didn’t really hear that,” O’Brien said, via Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo! Sports. “I didn’t notice that… maybe they’re booing us just because we had just arrived on the pitch.” ”

The Chiefs and Texan players were said to have been in pre-game talks regarding a joint protest that made a statement about racial injustice and demonstrated unity, which was what the protest was used for at the 50-yard line before the kickoff. ‘sending. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was also played 45 minutes before the game as the Chiefs stayed on the pitch and the Texans made their way to the locker room.

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