Rico Lavelle, the singer who performed the national anthem before Sunday’s football between the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons, ended his performance one knee with his fist raised.
The move follows calls from President Donald Trump to “fire or suspend” NFL players who kneel during the anthem as a means of protesting racial injustice in the United States. Trump has also demanded a boycott of the NFL.
An initial wave of outrage followed remarks Trump made during a rally in Alabama on Friday. Including from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who denounced Trump’s remarks, calling them “divisive” and disrespectful. DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, also tweeted a more direct statement: “We will never back down. We no longer can afford to stick to sports,” it said in part.
Protests kicked off early on Sunday when dozens of players on both the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars took a knee during their game in London. Later, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced the team would stay in the locker room during the national anthem of their game.
Meghan Linsey, who later performed the anthem during the Titans-Seahawks game also took a knee at the very end of her performance. More protests are expected to come from football players, coaches, owners, and performers, as Trump continues to bash the demonstrations.
Watch the end of Lavelle’s performance in the video below: