MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Packers stayed in their locker room during both songs that played prior to their season opener on Sunday - the United States National Anthem and "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing."
“The Green Bay Packers respect the national anthem and United States flag and all that they represent, including the right to express ourselves," Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement. “We decided as a team to remain in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem and ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ so as to not distract from our message that we stand united for social justice and racial equality.
“This is part of our continued call on our leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue that results in change," Murphy continued. "We feel it is important for all of us to participate in these difficult conversations with humility and be open to different perspectives.”
The Houston Texans did the same during the NFL Kickoff Game on Thursday night.
The Vikings were on the field during both songs, with some players taking a knee during "The Star Spangled Banner."
At least four #Vikings players took a knee during the national anthem, as others put hands on their shoulders or arms around each other. As planned, the #Packers stayed in the locker room until afterward.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 13, 2020
The Vikings also honored the family of George Floyd prior to kickoff. Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in May, sparking protests in favor of social justice reform across the country.