Steelers vs Giants: Internet split as Pittsburgh players hold banner against racism ahead of game

Steelers vs Giants: Internet split as Pittsburgh players hold banner against racism ahead of game
Pittsburgh Steelers (Getty Images)

It was a sight to behold when the Pittsburgh Steelers players stood for the national anthem on Monday ahead of their season opener against the New York Giants. The Steelers held a banner that read, "Steelers Against Racism" and it also listed the names of each of the players' hometowns. The Steelers official Twitter page posted an image of the players holding the banner and captioned it "We stand together against racism. #ItTakesAllOfUs"



At the other end some Giants players kneeled during the anthem. This sparked a flurry of tweets on social media. For starters, the responses came from fans of both teams as they weighed-in on the call taken by the players.

"If that's the best the Steelers can do without fear of repercussions, i'm disappointed. I'm a retired veteran and born and raised in Pittsburgh, the most racist city i ever reside," read one of the tweets.



At the other end, there was a disgruntled Giants fan who hoped his team did something similar. "Very professional in STANDING during the anthem and holding a sign for social justice. Unlike my pathetic Giants where some players knelt during the anthem. Not even sure if they know why or maybe mob mentality. Hard to remain a Giant fan anymore with those overpaid players," read a comment.



For most, it was a respectful gesture, and hoped other teams would follow suit. "Thanks for being against racism Steelers. All other teams must be for racism. Unless they also had a banner!!" one of the fans remarked after watching the message.



Ahead of the start of the season, Mike Tomlin, the Steelers coach said he would be in favor of the players if they chose to kneel, according to a Fox report. "Our position is simple,” he said. "We are going to support our players and their willingness to partake in this, whether it is statements or actions. You guys know my feelings, I have stated them in the past. Statements are good, but impact is better. Particularly long-term impact.”

"Steelers just stood TOGETHER with a banner against racism during the anthem. Not sure whose idea that was but they need a raise," a tweet read.



Earlier, the team also announced the players would wear the name of Antwon Rose Jr. on the back of their helmets in memory of the Black teenager from Pittsburgh who was fatally shot in the back in 2018 by a police officer. While there were opinions of all sorts after the Steelers unfurled the banner, some just wanted some sporting action and hoped that politics wouldn't seep in and take away the glory of the sport. "I am old enough to remember when we could enjoy football as an it just sucks!" one of the fans commented.


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