During pre-game introductions, starters and backups in the secondary walked out together with their hands raised in the same gesture protestors have been using since the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson by a white police officer on Aug. 9. According to witnesses, Brown's last act was to raise his hands in surrender and plead for the officer not to shoot.
The gesture was not broadcast by ESPN, which was televising the game for "Monday Night Football."
“Anytime you get an opportunity to do something like that, it’s something that needs to be discussed, something that you truly need to believe,” veteran safety Ryan Clark told The Washington Post. “That could have been any one of us. That could have been any one of our brothers, our cousins, just anyone.
“We have voices, even though sometimes we don’t like to see it that way, we do have voices. We got the opportunity to do something.”
The shooting death of the unarmed Brown and subsequent protests directed at police have sparked sometimes-violent clashes between the two sides, with police using military equipment like tanks and tear gas in an attempt to disperse protesters. Demonstrators have largely been peaceful, though a handful of protesters have looted local businesses and thrown bottles at police.
The National Guard was deployed by Missouri governor Jay Nixon on Monday.
For more on the situation in Ferguson, see Time's coverage.
- Ben Estes