As the Montreal Impact began their MLS is Back campaign with their Group C opener against the New England Revolution, manager Thierry Henry made one of the most discreet, yet powerful gestures of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the tournament so far.
While also wearing a T-shirt with "Black Lives Matter" in bold letters across the torso, Henry took a knee for the first 8:46 minutes of the contest while in his coaching box.
Unfortunately for Henry, the game did not go well for the Impact, finishing in a 1-0 defeat that could've been worse with better finishing from the Revs. Perhaps partly because of that, Henry was concise in his explanation of the gesture.
"Well I sat down for 8 minutes and 46 seconds," he said. "I guess you guys know why. It was just to pay tribute and show support to the cause. That was basically it. It was simple."
The duration of 8:46 has been a rallying cry of activists in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police officers in late May. That was the amount of time prosecutors originally said police officer Derek Chauvin had kneeled on Floyd's neck.
As one of two Black head coaches in MLS, Henry has been vocal about the need for reforms to address systemic racism in the wake of the incident.