The German national soccer team covered their mouths in a symbolic gesture of support for LGBT individuals prior to kicking off against Japan in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Wednesday.
"We wanted to use our captain's armband to take a stand for values that we hold in the Germany national team: diversity and mutual respect," the team said on Twitter. "Together with other nations, we wanted our voice to be heard"
"It wasn't about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should be taken for granted, but it still isn't the case. That's why this message is so important to us. Denying us the armband is the same as denying us a voice. We stand by our position."
The demonstration was done in protest of FIFA's decision to issue yellow cards to any players seen wearing pro-LGBT "OneLove" armbands during World Cup matches.
Several teams, including Germany, England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands planned to wear the armband throughout the tournament.
Germany took a 1-0 lead in the first half against Japan after Ilkay Gundogan converted a penalty kick. Japan came roaring back in the second half with two goals to win the match.