The NFL's New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers both used a slate of statements, banners and other moves calling for racial justice ahead of their Monday night game.
Following pregame warm-ups, the Giants stayed on the field at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and stood lined up during a rendition of "Lift Every Voice And Sing," also known as the Black national anthem.
Giants outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter was in tears during the emotional moment, ESPN reported.
Approximately 20 players on the New York team knelt during the national anthem. Coach Joe Judge stood with his arms on the shoulders of defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson and safety Jibril Peppers.
"Nothing was scripted in terms of who stood next to me or who I was touching. But we made a decision as a team we are going to respect everybody and the thing that makes it special is you respect everyone's unique background and you can move on," Judge said, ESPN reported.
"So, we went out there, respected our players' right and choice to handle it how they wanted to handle it. I respect how our players handled it in terms of not letting anything external divide us, and we went out there and played football."
During the national anthem before the game, the Steelers held a white banner that read “Steelers Against Racism.” Several players also held their fist in the air during the anthem.
Some Steelers players and head coach Mike Tomlin also wore shirts with messages including “Black Lives Matter” and “End Racism” during pregame warmups, according to the ESPN report.
The NFL directed every home game during week 1 of the season to play both “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice And Sing.”
MetLife Stadium had “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” written in the back of the field’s end zones for the Monday night opener.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains an unsigned free agent, first sparked protests during the national anthem after kneeling ahead of games in 2016.