Nearly 20 minutes before the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles kicked off their Week 1 matchup this past Sunday, players on both teams came together in the center of the field for a moment of unity.
Players locked arms with one another, forming an oval around the center of the field during the playing of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," known as the Black national anthem.
Days later, Philadelphia defensive lineman Malik Jackson revealed that the Eagles wanted to do more on Sunday to raise awareness of social injustice and racial inequality in America, but Washington did not want to.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the Washington Football Team on board,” Jackson said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We wanted to do the whole Premier League [thing], when they take a knee before they kick the ball off for 20 or 40 seconds. That’s what we wanted to do before the kickoff, both teams take a knee, and then decline the penalty and kick the ball off.”
When the Premier League returned to action earlier this summer, several players took a knee once the opening whistle began to show support for George Floyd, a Black man who was killed in the hands of Minnesota law enforcement in May. The Premier League also had the words 'Black Lives Matter' replace the players' names on the back of their uniforms.
Following the playing of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," the Eagles went back into their locker room for the playing of the national anthem. Washington stayed on the sidelines. No Burgundy and Gold players kneeled for the anthem but a few of them, including quarterback Dwayne Haskins, raised their fists.