The Cardinals stand, arm-in-arm, for the national anthem Monday night. From left, LB Josh Bynes (57), CB Brandon Williams (26), CB Patrick Peterson (21), president Michael Bidwill, WR Larry Fitzgerald, coach Bruce Arians and cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross.
In the end, the Cardinals stood, but with a purpose.
Nobody knelt for Arizona during Monday night's national anthem. The entire team – including Bidwill family members Michael, Nicole and Tim – stood in the south end zone, linked arm-in-arm to show unity for the ongoing league-wide protests.
"(We wanted to) just show unity," defensive lineman Frostee Rucker said after the Cards lost to the Cowboys, 28-17. "In a time like this, in the world where there is so much negativity going on and people are trying to pull us apart, we always want to stay together. Like today, we didn't win the game, but this locker room will stay together.
"No matter where you come from, or your religion, all that stuff that mixes in, we are a team with a common goal."
The Cardinals players felt strongly about doing something after comments made by President
Donald Trump late last week. Joining in the effort seeking equality for minorities, the players came up with the idea to stand during a meeting on Saturday. Players then went to team president Michael Bidwill with the plan.
"We had a team meeting and we laid everything on the line (about) how we felt," cornerback Patrick Peterson said. "Everybody came together collectively."
Normally standing along the sideline for the anthem, the players instead went to the end zone just in front of anthem singer Jordin Sparks.
"That's all over with," coach Bruce Arians said after the game. "I coach football. I'm not a politician."
The Cowboys came on to the field during Cardinals' introductions, linking arms. It was before a giant flag was unfurled on the field – as the Cards often do during their anthem – and the entire team kneeled. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was among his players.
As the flag came out, the Cowboys returned to their sideline, linked arms and stood for the anthem.
"We had a lot of dialogue on it and how we wanted to handle it," Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said. "It was just all about the game after that."