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Cardinals united in remaining in locker room during national anthem

The Arizona Cardinals bench remained empty as they stayed in the locker room for the playing of the National Anthem before their game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals were one of a handful of teams to stay in the locker room during the national anthem in a show of team solidarity against social injustices on Sunday.

The Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Green Bay Packers each decided as teams to remain in the locker room during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The Houston Texans did the same Thursday night.

“We came together as a team, we all talked, we all had our own opinions about everything that was going on,” Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy said Sunday night. “There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world but as a team we all got to be one. No individual, nothing like that, so at practice we came together, huddled up, just players. Just had a conversation, anyone that wanted to put their input, they put their input. But we came together, made that conclusion and just stuck to it.”

Other teams went different routes, such as the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons, who kneeled once the game was officially underway.

Among the teams that were on the field for the anthem, players were seen kneeling, standing, raising a fist in the air, locking arms or holding a hand over their heart.

Teams from the NFL, NBA, WNBA and MLB postponed or boycotted games and practices in August following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisc.

Ahead of the season opener, the Cardinals canceled all team activities Aug. 27 following a team meeting to discuss how to move forward after the shooting.

“We had a team meeting about it, just players only, and we kinda went through all of our options,” defensive lineman Corey Peters added of Sunday’s decision. “Gave the floor to all the guys that wanted to speak, discussed it and decided that the best thing to do as a team was to just stay in the locker room.”


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