It Has Begun: Ravens and Jaguars Kick off #TakeAKnee Sunday With Powerful Display

| SEP 24, 2017 | 2:53 PM

@justin_fenton/Twitter

As Sunday dawned, America wondered what to expect from the NFL after nearly 36 hours of barbs being thrown between President Donald Trump and a number of players who have chosen not to stand for the national anthem that plays at the start of every game.

It started with the president's comments in Alabama at a Friday night rally:

“We're proud of our country. We respect our flag. Wouldn't you love to see one of our NFL owners when someone disrespects our flag to say, 'Get that son of a b***h off the field right now ... he's fired!'”

Players and coaches responded, and then the rumors began to fly on Saturday, suggesting that hundreds of players might be ready to strike back against Trump by kneeling in much larger numbers.

Early Sunday morning, although the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars were not even playing on U.S. soil (their Sunday game was in the U.K.), things kicked off with a powerful display:

Most of the Ravens were on their knees as the anthem played:

Take note of the guy in the glasses — it's Ray Lewis, retired Ravens legend:

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh joined his team on the field as well:

And Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti released a statement supporting his team's choice, calling the move “democracy in its highest form”:

On the other side of the field, the Jaguars made a similar showing. All players and coaching staff who chose not to kneel stood arm in arm, putting up a unified front. Running back Leonard Fournette (No. 22) stood, spreading his arms across the shoulders of his teammates as they knelt:

Jaguars owner Shad Khan joined his team on the field, locking arms and standing defiantly as the anthem played:

What a way to start #TakeAKnee Sunday.