DETROIT – After an offseason where issues of social and racial justice issues were on the top of mind of a lot of their players, many were wondering what the Bears and the Lions might do before the game to raise awareness for the cause.
Fans got their answer on Sunday morning before the teams kicked off at Ford Field in Detroit as the teams took the field for a pair of songs.
During the playing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” just under a half-hour before kickoff, the Bears and Lions locked arms on the field facing each other. Offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massie kneeled during the playing of this song, which will be featured in the pregame of every NFL contest this weekend.
During the playing of the national anthem, there were a number of different demonstrations by players and coaches on both sides. Some on each team weren’t on the field, choosing to remain in the locker room while those on the field either stood or kneeled.
Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, John Jenkins, Bilal Nichols, Brent Urban, and Roy Robertson-Harris all took a knee during the anthem to bring awareness to racial inequality and police brutality against African-Americans.
Tight end Jimmy Graham raised his fist in the air during the anthem as well.
These demonstrations were initially started by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the 2016 season and have continued at times during the last five seasons.