Ahead of Thursday night's NFL opener in Kansas City, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans linked arms for what was supposed to be a show of unity. But in what the Guardian calls a "dismal start" to the season, fans booed and jeered during what the NFL said would be "a moment of silence dedicated to the ongoing fight for equality in our country." Before taking the field, the Texans stayed in their locker room while a prerecorded version of the national anthem was played on the video board, CBS Sports reports. The Chiefs, defending Super Bowl champions, locked arms while the anthem was played. As defensive end Alex Okafor took a knee and raised his fist in the air during the anthem, two teammates put their hands on his shoulders.
After the Chiefs' 34-20 victory, some players denounced the booing, though Texans coach Bill O'Brien said he didn't really notice it. "The moment of unity I personally thought was good. The booing was unfortunate in that moment,” Texans defensive end JJ Watt said. “I don’t fully understand that. There was no flag involved, there was nothing involved with that besides two teams coming together to show unity." Around 17,000 fans were allowed into the 80,000-seat Arrowhead Stadium for the game, the AP reports. Fans were required to wear masks—and they were banned from wearing headdresses and war paint. (More NFL stories.)