This gesture of unity between the USMNT and Mexico was awesome

Players from Mexico and the USA pose together prior the World Cup qualifier in Columbus, Ohio on November 11, 2016. (Photo by Omar Vega/LatinContent/Getty Images)
Omar Vega/STR/LatinContent/Getty Images

In the wake Tuesday’s stunning election results, Friday’s rivalry match between the USA and Mexico seemed to take on a new dimension. Donald Trump’s harsh, controversial rhetoric on the campaign trail sparked anxieties for many Americans across the country, particularly those with Latino backgrounds, and politics had been injected into the World Cup qualifier’s narrative.

While American players asked for their fans to show respect at the match and Mexican players hoped the game could cheer their fans up, some people worried the fierce rivalry could take an ugly turn. But the players, in a simple-but-powerful gesture, decided to take the lead.

The American and Mexican starting lineups stood together for the customary pre-match photo in a gesture that was not choreographed, according to FS1’s Jenny Taft, who was reporting on the sideline during the match.

The expression “a picture is worth a thousand words” seems to apply here. Well done to both sides for a powerful show of respect and unity when their fans needed it.