NFL News : 49ers players kneel, stand in unity during anthem

49ers players kneel, stand in unity during anthem

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The San Francisco 49ers staged a unique demonstration before Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

During the national anthem, 30 players kneeled in a row with their hands over their hearts, and the rest of their teammates and coaches stood in a row directly behind them, reported ESPN. The standing players and coaches each had one hand over their hearts and the other on the shoulder of the player kneeling in front of them.

General manager John Lynch and CEO Jed York joined the team on the sideline and also stood with their hands over their hearts. Some Arizona fans in attendance booed as the Niners knelt.

Immediately after the anthem, the 49ers issued a statement said to be from the players, coaches, ownership and staff.

"At its purest level, football is a unifier of people from all walks of life, different socio-economic backgrounds, every corner of this country and around the world," the statement said. "As players, coaches, ownership and staff, we are privileged to work in an environment that is a tremendous example of how people can come together for a common goal. We not only put our differences aside, but we also use them to achieve that common goal by challenging each other to be better -- both in our professional and personal lives.

"For more than a year, members of our team have protested the oppression and social injustices still present in our society. While some may not have taken a knee or raised a fist, we have all shared the desire to influence positive change. Today, our team chose to publicly display our unity in a new way and, in turn, urge others do the same. Our demonstration is simply a representation of how we hope our country can also come together by putting differences aside and solving its problems.

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Source: ESPN · Photo Credit: Keystone Press Agency