On Thursday night, the football teams from Garfield (Seattle) and Archbishop Murphy (Everett, Wash.) came together for a show of unity during the national anthem.
In the days leading up to the game, the Garfield Bulldogs were considering whether to continue the national anthem protest the team began during the 2016 season.
Last year, Garfield was one of the first high schools in the country to join in on the national anthem protests that began in the NFL to draw attention to racial injustice.
More recently, Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett has refused to stand during the national anthem over the last few weeks.
Garfield head coach Joey Thomas says his team was still deciding what to do for their season opener when the head coach at Archbishop Murphy reached out. Coach Jerry Jensen suggested the teams might do something together before Thursday’s game.
Thomas said he was grateful for the gesture, and from there, the two coaches planned the show of unity together.
Just before kickoff Thursday night at Archbishop High School, players and coaches from both teams linked arms at the 50-yard-line. They stood there, hand-in-hand, throughout the national anthem.
Archbishop Murphy went on to win the game, 37-18.
Thomas said that even though his team didn’t win the game, he felt they gained new friends and brothers in the team from Archbishop Murphy.