From players on the field to acting owner Christopher Johnson and GM Mike Maccagnan, the New York Jets all locked arms during the national anthem before Sunday's 20-6 win over the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium in protest of President Donald Trump's comments from a few days ago.
The Jets had a team meeting Saturday and decided they would lock arms and stand for the anthem as a team. Groups of players from each team around the league on Sunday either locked arms or knelt during the anthem after Trump referred to NFL players who protested the national anthem as a "son of a bitch" and said they should be fired.
Johnson, who is the team's acting owner while his brother, Jets owner Woody Johnson, serves as the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom in the Trump administration, released a statement saying it was an "honor and a privilege" to join the players on the field on Sunday.
"We are very proud of our players and their strong commitment to work in our community to make a positive, constructive, and unifying impact," Christopher Johnson said in the statement.
Defensive end Leonard Williams said Christopher Johnson spoke to each player in the locker room individually and said he would support each player in what he does during the national anthem.
"I felt like that meant a lot fo everybody in here," Williams said in an Instagram post.
@leonardwilliams on Christopher Johnson: "He spoke to every single person in this locker room. He didn't bring everybody up together and give one big speech. He walked up to every individual, looked them in the eyes and told us he was going to support us in what we wanted to do…I felt like that meant a lot to everybody in here."
Wide receiver Kenny Stills, safety Maurice Smith, offensive tackle Maurice Smith and tight end Julius Thomas were among the Miami Dolphins players who took a knee during the national anthem.
Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse said, according to NJ.com's Darryl Slater, that Trump's comments were "a distraction ... from where we're headed as a country.
"I think as a team," Kearse said, "we're going to continue to be unified in this. We're going to continue to fight the good fight together."
Head coach Todd Bowles spoke to his players about the issues regarding race and society he has seen in his lifetime, including the Civil Rights era.
"[He is] somebody that went through it, that actually could attest to the times that used to be even worse than it is right now," left tackle Kelvin Beachum said, according to Slater.