Texans players stay in locker room during national anthem

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Friday, September 11, 2020
Texans players leave field during national anthem of primetime game
The Houston Texans vowed to use their platform for social change, and it didn't get bigger than the first game of the season in primetime. Here's the statement they made on national television.

HOUSTON, Texas -- The Houston Texans remained in their locker room during the national anthem before their opener against the Kansas City Chiefs in a coordinated display meant to bring awareness to Black Lives Matter and other social justice initiatives.

RELATED: How Texans will demonstrate anti-racist message at season opener

Alicia Keys performed "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which is often considered the Black national anthem, in a video designed to address racial inequality.

The Texans had already left the field when the demonstration occurred. They remained there until R&B duo Chloe x Halle finished a virtual performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner," then ran onto the field to a chorus of boos from fans.

The Chiefs stood along their sideline during the anthem. Most of them had their hands over the hearts.

Some fans were still booing when the teams met at midfield and shook hands while messages such as "We believe Black lives matter" and "It takes all of us" played on the screen.

The teams then stood together in a line that stretched from one end zone to the other for a moment of silence before the coin toss.

"Listen, I didn't really notice it," Reid said of the booing. "I thought that was kind of a neat deal, both sides coming together for a cause. The story was told there. Whether it was the national anthems and how those were presented, the singers - Alicia Keyes was phenomenal - and then guys joining hands together for a cause. Really just to make us all better and a stronger country than we all are. We have a chance to be unstoppable when we all come together."

SEE ALSO: NFL condemns racism, apologizes for not listening to players' earlier protests about racial injustice

When it comes to the game, the Texans dropped the season opener, falling 34-20 to the Chiefs.

The Texans play their home opener against the Ravens on Sept. 20. The Chiefs visit the Chargers the same day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.