FOXBORO (CBS) — Typically before a game, the New England Patriots conclude their warmup about 30 minutes before kickoff and head into the locker room to make final preparations. On Sunday, ahead of their 2020 season opener, the Patriots made it a point to take a detour before heading in.
At the conclusion of the team’s pregame warmup, players and coaches stood together along the goal line. Once they were in line, the NFL’s kickoff video played on the video screen, featuring narration by Antony Mackie leading in to Alicia Keys’ performance of “Lift Every Voice And Sing” — the song widely known as the Black national anthem. Robert Kraft and Jonathan Kraft stood with the team, as well.
The Patriots remained on the field until the conclusion of the video, at which point they headed in to the locker room as a team.
The Miami Dolphins — the Patriots’ Week 1 opponent — had headed in to their locker room prior to the video being played. Players and head coach Brian Flores released a video earlier this week stating that they would remain in their locker room for the playing of both national anthems this season.
And so, the NFL season begins in Foxboro. pic.twitter.com/1h38avcrf6
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) September 13, 2020
Shortly before kickoff, the Patriots emerged from the locker room and stood on the sideline while the national anthem played over the stadium sound system, while the Dolphins remained in their locker room and emerged from the tunnel shortly after the song concluded.