The Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs locked arms in a moment of unity during the opening of the NFL’s kickoff game on Thursday.
The two teams posted images of the players locking arms on social media using the hashtag #ItTakesAllOfUs. The league has used the hashtag to promote a social justice campaign it launched this month.
It takes all of us. pic.twitter.com/duLF86ajhb— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 10, 2020
The opening game also featured Alicia Keys singing the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Black national anthem. During the song, the Texans returned to their locker room — where they remained through the singing of the traditional national anthem — while Chiefs players locked arms in the end zone.
Kansas City defensive end Alex Okafor also knelt while raising his fist in the air during the national anthem.
The demonstration was met with a mixture of cheers and boos.
The renewed push to prompt social justice comes after months of unrest across the country following the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in Minneapolis on May 25.
After the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., last month, NBA players briefly boycotted the league while discussing social justice contingency plans, and other sports leagues such as the NFL followed suit by canceling practices to have similar discussions.
The NFL has previously drawn widespread criticism for its handling of players’ kneeling protests during the national anthem promoting the same message.
Updated: 10 p.m.