JJ Watt wasn't sure why fans were booing when the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs got together in the middle of the field to observe a moment of silence for the racial issues going on in the country. The demonstration was done before the game between the two teams and after the national anthem. After the game, Watt said the reason both teams locked arms in at midfield had nothing to do with protesting.
"The moment of unity, I personally thought was good," Watt said, via James Palmer of the NFL Network. "I mean the booing during that moment was unfortunate. I don't fully understand that. There was no flag involved. There was nothing involved other than two teams coming together to show unity." While Watt noticed the booing, there were some who did not, including Texans head coach Bill O'Brien, who said he enjoyed what both teams did before the start of the game.
"I thought that that was a nice thing to do, so I'm not sure why they would boo that," Texans head coach O'Brien said when asked about the booing. "Maybe they were just booing us 'cause we had just come on the field as the visiting team. But yeah, I thought that that was a nice gesture."
Watt was locking arms with Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson, who was locking arms with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Before that, the Chiefs players and coaches were locking arms during the national anthem and the song "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," which is considered the Black national anthem. However, the Texans stayed in the locker room for both songs. Texans executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby said the team did so there would be "no misinterpretation of them celebrating one song and throwing shade on the other." He also said the move is "not about Black or white; it's about change."
There are 15 more NFL games that will be played this week and there will be more demonstrations to speak out against racism in the country. Before the Chiefs and Texans took the field, the Miami Dolphins announced they will stay in the locker room during both anthems in a powerful video. Dolphins coach Brian Flores said, as reported by Sports Illustrated: "It was a player-driven decision that came from a lot of conversations about trying to find a way to voice their opinions. It’s about issues that are important to the players, and we just decided to move forward with it."