Chloe X Halle kicked off the 2020 NFL season with their rendition of the national anthem before the Kansas City Chiefs-Houston Texans game on Thursday night, and made quite the statement in the process.
The duo, who filmed the performance ahead of time remotely from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, wore custom white T-shirts to honor George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Floyd was killed in Minneapolis police custody earlier this year after a white officer pressed his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes while Floyd yelled out, “I can’t breathe.” Taylor, a former Louisville-area EMT, was shot to death multiple times by police in her home after they executed a no-knock warrant in the middle of the night while she slept.
Both of their deaths, along with the Jacob Blake shooting last month and other incidents, have sparked a massive movement across the United States in recent months. Athletes across the sports world have joined the protests, too.
Texans remain in locker room during anthem
The Chiefs were on the sideline during Chloe X Halle’s performance. Most of the players stood during the national anthem, though at least one K.C. player kneeled while others linked arms.
The Texans remained in the locker room during the anthem and came out onto the field afterward.
Both teams then met in the middle of the field and linked arms for a “moment of unity.”
That moment was met with a small chorus of boos from the fans at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City — one of just a handful of stadiums that is planning to let fans attend games to start the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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