The NFL’s Seattle Seahawks will take part in a “demonstration of unity” before the start of the team's season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 11, the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The “demonstration of unity” will occur during the national anthem, ABC News reports.
The decision to hold such a demonstration comes in the wake of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick choosing to sit or kneel during the national anthem at preseason games in an attempt to raise awareness about racial inequality. Players on the 49ers and other teams have since joined in on his quiet protest.
In a Sept. 10 tweet, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin Jr. wrote, "Martin Luther King Jr. once famously said 'Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.' #BuildABridge," with a video of his teammates explaining the planned demonstration.
"We are a team comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds," the video states. "And as a team, we have chosen to stand and interlock arms in unity. We honor those who have fought for the freedom we cherish. And we stand to ensure the riches of freedom and the security of justice for all people. Progress can and will be made only if we stand together."
Two days earlier, Baldwin tweeted about the demonstration.
“To express a desire to bring people together, our team will honor the country and flag in a pregame demonstration of unity,” he wrote.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll also shared the video on Twitter, with the caption: “So proud of our guys. Hope you’ll stand with us and help build that bridge.”
The Detroit Lions are also expected to have a similar demonstration during their season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
The demonstrations have not gone unnoticed by critics who think players are disrespecting veterans, the U.S. flag and the country.
On Sept. 9, the hashtag #boycottNFL began trending, according to ABC News.
Regardless, Seahawks players including quarterback Russell Wilson have continued to share support for the team's demonstration on social media.
“CHANGE can Only happen TOGETHER," Wilson wrote on Instagram along with the team's video. "Unity. Love. Forgiveness. Change. We are linking arms & standing to Stand Up for Social Justice, Love, & Peace for All. #BuildABridge The Question is...Will you?”