How Each NFL Team Protested Racial Injustice and Delivered Messages of Unity in Week 1

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Sunday marked the first slate of NFL games for the 2020 season, but football was not the only thing on the mind of players and around the league.

Calls for social justice and ending systemic racism have resonated across the country this year and athletes have taken a larger role on using their platform to shed light on these issues.

Here is how each team protested and showed unity throughout the league.

The Minnesota Vikings were hosting and honoring the family of George Floyd – a victim of police brutality in Minneapolis whose death sparked protests across the country. The team will not sound the Gjallarhorn in order to honor Floyd and other victims for racial injustice.

At least four Vikings players took a knee during the national anthem as others put hands on their shoulders or arms around each other. The Green Bay Packers remained in the locker room.

Neither the Buffalo Bills nor New York Jets took the field for the playing of the national anthem, electing to remain in the locker room instead. Players also went into the locker room during the playing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the Black national anthem.

The Baltimore Ravens lined up together in the end zone, including owner Steve Biscotti, for the playing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” while cornerback Marlon Humphrey took a knee. The Cleveland Browns remained in the locker room but were out and standing for the national anthem. Many Ravens players knelt or sat during the national anthem.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Team locked arms together during the playing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The Eagles then left the field for the national anthem while Washington took a knee as the names of victims of violence appeared on the scoreboard.

The Eagles remained in the locker room for the national anthem while Washington players stood and Montez Sweat raised his right fist.

The Carolina Panthers and Las Vegas Raiders lined up on the field and linked arms during the playing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” A handful of Panthers players knelt or raised fists during the national anthem, including QB Teddy Bridgewater, while Raiders players remained standing.

New England Patriots players warmed up with T-shirts that read “Injustice against one of us is injustice against all of us.” Patriots players stood for the national anthem and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Dolphins players remained in the tunnel for the national anthem.

Atlanta Falcons stood for the national anthem while several Seattle Seahawks players sat, kneeled or remained in the locker room. Safety Jamal Adams stood with a raised fist. The Falcons tweeted a statement from the players on social justice.

Indianapolis Colts players stood arm-in-arm during the playing of the national anthem while head coach Frank Reich took a knee. The Jaguars remained in the locker room.

Players on both the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions knelt or raised fists during the national anthem while some players who stood put their hands on kneeling players shoulders.  Others remained in the locker room. Lions QB Matthew Stafford was among those who took a knee.

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