It’s not often that the New England Patriots hear boo’s from their fans.
In a weekend where the headlines have been dominated more by protests than play, the Houston Texans stood – arms locked together – in a show of unity during the singing of the National Anthem.
About a dozen New England players joined into the yearlong demonstrations by NFL players, and kneeled during the Star Spangled Banner.
More players around the league kneeled during the National Anthem this week, after President Trump made disparaging comments about the demonstrations during a rally in Huntsville, Alabama Friday.
Trump doubled down on his comments with a series of tweets this morning including one that read, “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or Suspend!”
Prior to the game, Texans owner and CEO Robert McNair released a statement critical of President Trump’s comments about protesting players:
"The NFL specifically, and football in general, has always unified our communities and families. The comments made by the president were divisive and counterproductive to what our country needs right now. I hope the reaction from our players results in positive action for our league, our communities and our country as a whole to make a positive difference in our society. Texans players are caring, intelligent men who do so much good, as was shown in the past month when our city was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. I have never been more proud of our players and our team than during this time. It was a display of what is truly possible when we all work together. We will continue to support our players to work together to promote the values of respect and unity."
Patriots owner Robert Kraft – who is friends with Trump – also criticized the president, saying he was “deeply disappointed” by the tone of Trump’s comments. He added, “Our players are intelligent, thoughtful, and care deeply about their community, and I support their right to peacefully effect social change and raise awareness in a manner they feel is most impactful.”