The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans are discussing ways they can hold some sort of joint demonstration before Thursday night’s NFL kickoff game. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported on Twitter Thursday that no decisions have been made on what will be done, but talks are ongoing. You can see his tweet here.
The reporter wrote that the Chiefs and their opening night opponent are trying to do something that will send a powerful message. He noted that both squads understand they are going to have a huge platform, and they want to take advantage of it.
Should it come to pass, the planned demonstration intends to show unity. It’s also possible they could land on a solution that will draw attention to their absence. According to the analyst, one possibility is both the Chiefs and Texans staying in the locker room. They’d wait there until after the national anthem finished playing.
Pelissero later noted that the plan remains fluid, and leaders from both sides are still discussing what exactly they are going to do.
Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Kenny Stills, and Michael Thomas as well as others are reportedly involved. It’s not clear who else on the Chiefs might be carrying messages back and forth as the rest of the team is getting updates on what’s being discussed.
Per the reporter’s information, there are more than a few Chiefs directly involved in the discussions.
There is a bit of a difference this season compared to prior years. The league has allowed demonstrations like what the Chiefs and Texans are planning without punishment. This year, it’s actively encouraging players to use their voices and the platforms they have to be heard.
The league is also reportedly planning on several messages of its own for Thursday night. Also likely in the works are additional demonstrations throughout Week 1.
Pelissero pointed out that the Chiefs especially have been quite active on social justice matters for a while now. Leaders like Mahomes have done more than protested and have taken other actions.
The NFL has been encouraging more than protests as well. All organizations involved have agreed there is still a way to send a special message in the league’s prime-time 2020 season opener.
The season opener for both organizations is a rematch of a game during the 2019 AFC Playoffs. Houston opened a 21-0 lead in the first quarter of that duel, but the Chiefs answered with 28 points in the second quarter and eventually went on to a 51-31 victory. It was the first of three straight postseason games where the Chiefs rallied to win after trailing by at least 10 points.