As the season kicked off Thursday night, many people wondered how the NFL would partake in protests, just like the NBA, WNBA, MLB and MLS have been doing.
The Houston Texans remained in the locker room during the national anthem and the fans weren’t too pleased about that. As they began to take the field, some of the fans in the crowd were booing. Before kickoff, the Chiefs and Texans decided to link arms together at midfield and demonstrate unity.
Boo’s continued during the protest. After the game, the Texans defensive end, J.J. Watt spoke on the fans booing during the protest.
“The moment of unity I personally thought was good. I mean the booing during that moment was unfortunate, I don’t fully understand that. There was no flag involved, there was nothing involved other than two teams coming together to show unity,” Watt said.
As the rest of the teams opened their season on Sunday, players continued to kneel, link arms, raise a fist, or stayed in the locker room during the national anthem. The Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars were the only teams to have fans in their stadium, other stadiums were empty due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Although there were no fans in attendance for most teams, they were still watching. Some tweeted about how displeased they were with the coaches and players about the protests.
President Donald Trump has been on the record for being against the protests. President Trump expressed his feelings about Sunday’s protest at a rally in Henderson, Nev.
“What do we have? Football’s boring as hell, it’s just not the same as it used to be. People would say they can keep it away from a football game, now they say could you possibly do it during a football game. We have some free time,” Trump said.
Seeing these reactions from the fans and hearing boo’s on TV, goes to show that we’re a long way from change. When you’re standing up for something you believe in, there will always be people who won’t side with you.
The NFL did the right thing on Sunday. They stood together and showed unity, something they had trouble within the past.
They must continue to bring attention to these protests, as they do with breast cancer awareness, veterans’ day, etc. Racial injustice is something that can’t be ignored, the NFL took the first of many steps on Sunday.