KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In light of Colin Kaepernick’s highly publicized choice to sit during the national anthem, the Chiefs made a gesture of unity at the start of their season opener.
The team locked arms during the national anthem, but one player made another gesture.
Marcus Peters, who said earlier this week that he stands with Kaepernick one hundred percent, raised his fist as the anthem played. No one on the team knelt or sat.
Chiefs link arms, Peters raises fist before season opener. https://t.co/GD3CSfC8kT
— Jeff Rosen (@jeff_rosen88) September 11, 2016
Peters’ gesture was seen as a salute to the African American community’s struggle against racial discrimination in our society, particularly in regard to numerous incidents involving law enforcement officers, which groups such as Black Lives Matter have called brutal, oppressive, and part of a culture of violating civil rights.
“I feel that what was going on in law enforcement, it does need to change,” Peters told the press earlier this week. “It does need to change for all, equal opportunities for everybody, not just us as black Americans. I feel that over the past year it’s been displayed what’s been going on across America and over across the world. Just on my piece, I don’t think nothing’s being done about it.”
The Chiefs released a statement Sunday via Twitter:
After having a number of thoughtful discussions as a group regarding our representation during the National Anthem, we decided collectively to lock arms as a sign of solidarity. It was our goal to be unified as a team and to be respectful of everyone’s opinions, and the remembrance of 9/11. It’s our job as professional athletes to make a positive impact on our communities and to be proactive when change is needed.
Together we are going to continue to have conversations, educate ourselves and others on social issues and work with local law enforcement officials and leaders to make an impact on the Kansas City community.
– Representing All Kansas City Chiefs Players
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 11, 2016