Following a months-long debate over whether the football season should be cancelled or postponed in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL kicks off its 101st season on Thursday night, when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium. For obvious reasons, the stadium will be half empty, but fans across the country will rejoice as their favorite sport returns.
According to polling conducted by Morning Consult, football fans across the United States have warmed to the idea of the NFL returning despite the ongoing crisis in recent weeks. When asked whether the season should go ahead as planned, postponed or cancelled, 47 percent of self-identified NFL fans surveyed between September 3 and 7 spoke out in favor of the season beginning as planned, up from just 32 percent a month earlier.
When the new season kicks off tonight, the NFL will also unveil its latest brand campaign “It Takes All of Us”, which “will leverage the scale and power of the NFL to unite our country.” Moreover players and coaches will be officially allowed to honor victims of systemic racism and police brutality with helmet stickers and patches this season, while players also have the option to wear warmup tees with the message “Injustice Against One of Us, Is Injustice Against All of Us” and “End Racism”.