The NFL kicked off the 2016-17 season Thursday in Denver with a Super Bowl rematch between the Panthers and Broncos.
The stage was set for a competitive game, but before any seconds ticked off the clock, there was another story.
Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall joined 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his protest by taking a knee on the sideline during the national anthem.
Marshall, 26, is in his fourth year with Denver. The Super Bowl winning defender was teammates with Kaepernick at Nevada-Reno from 2008-2010.
Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane and 49ers safety Eric Reid are two other NFL players that have joined Kap's protest.
The Seahawks, according to receiver Doug Baldwin and linebacker Bobby Wagner, have also hinted at a team-wide demonstration in their Week 1 game Sunday.
Brandon Marshall: "I'm not against the military. I'm not against the police or America. I'm against social injustice." - Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) September 9, 2016