As the NFL kicks off its 2020 season on Thursday night with the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, the two teams are planning to use the platform of being on the national stage to send a message about racism and inequality in America.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Chiefs and Texans players have been in communication with one another about a joint demonstration before kickoff.
Among the ideas being discussed included both teams remaining in the locker room for the national anthem.
Whatever they decide to do, the teams will do it in unison with one another.
Social justice messages and protests are expected to be a focal point of the 2020 NFL season as more players continue to use their platform to address these issues.
Two of the league’s biggest stars and leading voices on this matter will be on the field tonight in Chiefs quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, as well as Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Mahomes and teammate Tyrann Mathieu led a group of Black players to make a video this summer in the wake of George Floyd’s death about Black Lives Matter, which prompted the league and several teams to change course on their attitude toward player protests and fighting inequality.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell even admitted he took the wrong approach to Colin Kaepernick, the first player to spark protests during the national anthem.
Watson, meanwhile, recently was profiled in ESPN in which he explained the challenges of being a Black quarterback who chooses to speak up.
In addition to whatever demonstration the players choose to do, the NFL will have slogans in each endzone, one reading “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism.”