Pre-Game routines for the NFL will look different this season as more teams join in nationwide protests for social justice. Teams across the NFL recognize the need to protest during the national anthem and game play as part of their effort to demonstrate a united front against injustice in the United States.
Protests included remaining in the locker room for the anthem, taking a knee during kickoff, wearing
apparel that states “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name”, and taking a knee during the anthem, a sign of protest started by Colin Kapernick in 2016.
The NFL in the past has been hesitant to use their national platform to protest and even effectively pushed Kapernick out of the league for his kneeling during the anthem in 2016. Now in 2020, more
individual athletes, and teams as a whole are joining in the protests for justice.
In June of 2020, Roger Goodell in a press release apologized and recognized that the concerns brought
to light by Kapernick and other players should have been addressed and affirmed sooner by the NFL.
The NFL, in conjunction with team owners has also amend their Game Operations Manual to better respect the right to protest during the national anthem by remaining in the locker room, and has not
fined any players or teams for their participation in protests across the League. Players did not agree with this policy change, and the NFL Player’s Association is continuing to work on behalf of payers to ensure their voices are heard.
Sources: CBS News, The New York Times, Sporting News