Thursday night's NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs on their home turf against the Houston Texans became political football in the media — social and otherwise — after some fans booed during a moment of silence against racial injustices when both teams lined up and locked arms in solidarity for a pregame ceremony.
What are the details?
Ahead of the game at Arrowhead Stadium, all but one of the Chiefs stood for "The Star-Spangled Banner," while the entire Texans team and coaching staff opted to stay in their locker room while the national anthem played.
After that, the Texans went onto the field and both teams lined up, locking arms in solidarity in what NBC Sports reported as "a moment of silence recognizing the fight for racial equality in America prior to playing the first game of the 2020 NFL season."
Then, the Texans returned to their locker room while Alicia Keys sang "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," also known as the black national anthem.
Texans executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby explained to ESPN that his team's pregame actions were devised with the intention that there would be "no misinterpretation of them celebrating one song and throwing shade on the other."
After the actual game began, media outlet Raw Story reported that the state of Missouri was "blasted as 'classless trash' after NFL Chiefs fans started booing during moment of silence for racial equality." It's worth noting that the person on social media who used the "classless trash" label was referring to Chiefs fans, and not the state.
Regardless, some fans did boo. Others cheered. The Daily Caller posted video with audio from the moment:
Chiefs fans boo as players from both teams link arms in a “moment of unity” and call for social justice before the… https://t.co/UliIYlR5Xb— Daily Caller (@Daily Caller) 1599784682.0
In reaction to Raw Story posting their piece on Twitter, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley replied, "'Classless trash'? The left showing their usual contempt for middle America. Missouri has the best fans in the country. Don't blame them for being tired of NFL/corporate woke politics jammed down their throats."
“Classless trash”? The left showing their usual contempt for middle America. Missouri has the best fans in the coun… https://t.co/0NQ9gPR5DD— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley) 1599790511.0
The NFL has not been bashful about its initiative to promote social justice causes after players pressed the league to endorse racial equality initiatives in the wake of the death of George Floyd in late May. But the league has received backlash from some fans, pundits, and politicians over their overt embrace of Black Lives Matter, whose leaders have declared themselves trained Marxists.
One of the most prominent advocates of the NFL declaring support for BLM this year is Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who recently signed a 10-year deal with the franchise for the heftiest amount in history.
The New York Post reported that in July, Mahomes — who was the 2018 Super Bowl MVP — agreed to a contract extension worth more than a half billion dollars that runs through 2031.