The Chicago Bears won the season opener, a stunning fourth-quarter comeback over the Detroit Lions.
But the victory was only No. 2 on the list of “Important Things the Bears Accomplished Sunday.” At top was the way the team’s players and coaches chose to find their own ways to protest or show solidarity during the pre-game national anthem at Ford Field.
More than 20 Bears players stayed off the field as the anthem played. Of the players who took the field, some knelt. Some stood with hands on the shoulders of kneeling teammates. Some stood arm-in-arm. Some stood with a fist raised high.
This diverse response to the vital issues of police brutality and racial injustice demonstrated a collective support for each player’s right of expression. It showed something we see far too little of these days: mutual respect.