Chicago Bears players during the National Anthem before the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Michigan, on Sunday, September 13.

The first NFL Sunday of the season kicked off with players and teams acknowledging the racial strife that has engulfed the United States in recent months.

It was a far cry from past seasons, when Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL didn’t support then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protests against police brutality and racism.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since he sparked controversy by sitting, then kneeling, during the National Anthem before…

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