Las Vegas Raiders‘ offensive tackle Trent Brown makes his return to the field. And he was sporting a new face mask in Sunday’s (Dec. 13) matchup against Indianapolis Colts. The NFL athlete wore an emblem to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
The cage of the helmet was shaped like a raised fist in the center. Nationally, the raised fist has become a symbol of the Black Lives Matter movement, which first started in 2016. The movement garnered national attention again this year with a series of protests nationwide. The protests reached a fever-peak earlier this summer following the death of George Floyd, who was killed within police custody.
After Floyd’s death and subsequent cases, the NFL promised to promote racial equality and stand against injustice as an organization. Many teams held support for the cause at the beginning of the season and throughout. For instance, some athletes knelt during the national anthem or wore decals on their helmets.
Since then, the NFL has received both support and criticism for its stance. Some view the move as politically motivated while others have condemned the league for its treatment of Colin Kaepernick in 2016. Kaepernick was one of the first NFL athletes to protest for the movement.
Brown’s helmet was a step too far in regards to the League’s rules. He wore the helmet pre-game but switched for a more conventional helmet afterward. The reason being is the NFL prohibits custom helmets during gameplay. Helmets or jerseys with personal messages are also required to be approved by the NFL ahead of time.
NFL’s Trent Brown Was Injured in November
So far, Brown has had a rough go at the NFL this season. The 27-year-old offensive tackle almost died in November. While receiving a pregame IV, a mistake almost killed Brown on Nov. 1. The IV caused an air embolism that resulted in the athlete being hospitalized. An air embolism can deadly if not treated immediately.
After almost dying, Brown is officially back playing the sport he loves.
Prior to playing with the Raiders, Brown was part of the Super Bowl championship-winning New England Patriots. Before that, he played for the San Francisco 49ers. In 2019, he signed a lucrative four-year deal to play for the Raiders.