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Canadian, Brazilian rugby players kneel in demonstration before match

Canadian, Brazilian rugby players kneel in demonstration before match
Posted at 8:34 AM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 09:14:23-04

Tokyo Stadium was empty, void of the fans who would typically cheer throughout an Olympic rugby match. None of the athletes representing Canada or Brazil spoke, but there was no language barrier when the teams came together to make a statement.

Prior to facing off on Day 7 of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the women knelt together in a demonstration against racial inequality. It is not the first time athletes at these Olympic games have used their platforms to express support for social movements. Gymnast Luciana Alvarado ended her floor exercise routine with a demonstration that she confirmed was intentionally choregraphed to display her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The 18-year-old concluded her performance by taking a knee, putting her left arm behind her back and raising her right fist to the sky.

SEE MORE: Luciana Alvarado ends floor routine with demonstration

Soccer players representing the U.S. and Sweden also knelt together before their game on July 21.

Alex Morgan. #13 of the United States and Hanna Glas #4 of Sweden take a knee before the start of the USA V Sweden group G soccer game at Tokyo Stadium during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Alex Morgan. #13 of the United States and Hanna Glas #4 of Sweden take a knee before the start of the USA V Sweden group G soccer game at Tokyo Stadium during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)