As Samantha Rios sung the national anthem inside FedEx Field, the owner of Washington's football team, Daniel Snyder and team President, Bruce Allen locked arms with players in a show of solidarity.
Many NFL teams around the league made similar statements Sunday, two days after President Donald Trump suggested owners should fire those who kneel during the patriotic song.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, 'Get that son of a b*#&h off the field right now. Out! He's fired," Trump said during a campaign stop in Louisiana for Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange.
The Burgundy and Gold released a statement just before 9 p.m. Sunday night saying, in part, "Football has always served as a great unifier, bringing people together to celebrate the values of courage, commitment, and achievement." Nowhere in the two-paragraph statement is Donald Trump, the national anthem or kneeling mentioned.
It's worth noting Mr. Snyder is one of eight NFL owners who gave money to Mr. Trump's Presidential bid.
On social media, the protests and anti-protests have taken on a life of their own, with the hashtag #TakeAKnee.
Don't pretend #TakeTheKnee is about freedom of speech. Players are fined for dancing in the end zone. The NFL is choosing to be political.— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) September 24, 2017
Irony is people who fly the confederate flag taking issue with those kneeling in front of the real one. #TakeTheKnee— Vivian Copeland (@Belairviv) September 25, 2017
Don't hate the player, hate the games that the government plays with lives of American citizens. #TakeTheKnee— Jacky Beren (@JackyJustKiddin) September 24, 2017
Ask yourself if you're upset that players are protesting, or upset b/c you can't ignore what they're protesting about anymore? #TakeTheKnee— Melody Fohr (@MonkeyPretzel) September 24, 2017