Players and coaches kicked off the 2020 season in different ways when it came to social justice messages. Some knelt. Some stood. Some didn’t come out for the national anthem.
The Minnesota Vikings locked arms in the end zone about a half-hour before their game against Green Bay for the recorded performance of “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” after nine family members of the late George Floyd were recognized on the video board from their perch in the upper concourse.
The group included three brothers and one sister of Floyd, the handcuffed Black man who died on May 25 about three miles from the stadium when a white police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes.
In Detroit, the Lions lined up shoulder to shoulder at the goal line and the Bears faced them as they stood side by side 80 yards away. After a moment of silence, the videoboards showed Alicia Keys singing “Lift Every Voice And Sing.”
In Jacksonville, Colts coach Frank Reich took a knee during the national anthem, the only one on the sideline to do so. The Jaguars were in the locker room.
Neither the Bills or Jets were on the field in Buffalo for the “Star Spangled Banner.”
In Cleveland, Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett one of three Cleveland players who knelt during anthem in Baltimore. Baker Mayfield announced Saturday on Twitter he had changed plans and stood.