As a wave of protests swept through the NFL over the weekend, athletes, team owners, coaches and even performers took part in the movement. Though not everyone took a knee or stood with their arms linked in the midst of one of sport's most divisive weekends, many found a way to demonstrate their beliefs one way or another.
Singer Jordin Sparks performed the National Anthem before the Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals and fans quickly noticed she had something written on her hand.
Lettering on her left hand said, "PROV 31:8-9," which is shorthand for a passage from the Book of Proverbs.
Proverb 31:8 and 9 say, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute" and, "Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy," respectively.
In the context of the current political climate, many are interpreting the note on her hand as a sign of support for the peaceful protests that have been occurring on football fields across the country this week.
The Monday Night Football game drew special scrutiny because the Dallas Cowboys, who are known as "America's Team" and are from a largely conservative state, took a knee before Sparks sang and stood with linked arms for the duration of the anthem. Their demonstration even drew the attention of Donald Trump, leading the president to tweet a series of admonishments about the NFL.
Twitter, reflecting the temperature of the country, has been completely divided in their responses to the politically-charged displays.
Some applauded those on the field for their actions.
Jordin Sparks. Brilliant move with the scripture. I hope this gets through to all of the conservative Christians who are failing to love. pic.twitter.com/CZdagWgXBq— Steve (@SteveMcCleary) September 26, 2017
While others consider the actions "shameful" and "disrespectful."
NFL ratings took a hit this weekend and it has yet to be determined whether that trend will continue as the season goes on.