Chiefs, Texans hold moment of silence, one player kneels before NFL opener

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Matt Weyrich
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Chiefs, Texans hold moment of silence, one player kneels before opener originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans stood together at midfield Thursday for a moment of silence recognizing the fight for racial equality in America prior to playing the first game of the 2020 NFL season.

Ahead of the demonstration, Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor was the lone player to kneel for the national anthem. The rest of his teammates stood during the song while the Texans opted to remain inside the tunnel. Arrowhead Stadium, which opened to fans in limited capacity, played both the anthem and Lift Every Voice and Sing — known as the Black national anthem.

Chloe X Halle, who performed the national anthem, wore shirts to honor George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Alicia Keys performed Lift Every Voice and Sing.

NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya told viewers that the idea for the moment of silence was organized by opposing quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Tafoya added that the demonstration was an effort to show “unity” among players in their message against racism.

The NFL’s first full slate of games will be this Sunday, when other teams are expected to show their support for the movement as well.