During the New Orleans Saints vs. the New York Giants football game on Sunday in N.J., an act of kindness was captured on video and has since gone viral on social media.
Before the game began, fans rose for the National Anthem — all except one. A disabled Giants fan was unable to stand, but a nearby Saints fan saw the man was having trouble and went to his aid, regardless of the fan rivalry.
The photo of the act was liked more than 20,000 times and shared more than 13,000 times, Fox 8 reported.
— Fox 40 News (@Fox40News) October 1, 2018
The Saints fan replaced a competitive environment with camaraderie and kindness.
The Saints went on to take a commanding lead and beat the Giants, 33-18.
The heartwarming act was a refreshing moment in a time when conflict has permeated the NFL over the standing versus kneeling controversy.
The national anthem has been a symbolic representation of what the U.S. stands for, and serves as a proud moment for many Americans, including veterans. However, the national anthem played before NFL games has become the center of debate in recent years, as some players have chosen to kneel before it as a form of protest.
Protests against standing for the “Star Spangled Banner” started in 2016, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick declined to stand during the national anthem, alluding the flag, “oppresses black people and people of color.” More NFL players followed suit and soon kneeling during the anthem became a heated topic of discussion.
In May of 2018, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that NFL employees and all players “shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem” during the upcoming season and those who refuse to adhere to that rule will be fined, ABC News reported.
Players are allowed to remain in the locker room until the anthem is completed, in lieu of protest on the field.
The move was praised by President Trump, a vocal critic of the kneeling controversy. “The NFL owners did the right thing,” he said.