The NFL's season-opener between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams saw some unexpected color when a pair of protesters invaded the field with what appeared to be pink smoke bombs.
The incident occurred midway through the fourth quarter of a Bills blowout on Thursday night in Inglewood, California. Fans at home saw only a single smoke bomb in the end zone, while the SoFi Stadium crowd saw the pair run around until security took them down.
As usually happens with protesters and other field invaders, the two were swiftly carried away.
Things getting weird on the field in LA. pic.twitter.com/t7pJFVK2N5
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) September 9, 2022
— Kenny Holmes (@KHOLMESlive) September 9, 2022
This was unexpected.
Two women run on to the @RamsNFL stadium field with pink smoke bombs. They are quickly tackled by security. We can all smell the smoke.
The women’s shirts indicate they’re from a group protesting whistleblowers facing prison time for factory farm abuses. pic.twitter.com/KgSA4rwEB1
— Sara Sidner (@sarasidnerCNN) September 9, 2022
While that was playing out, the activist group Direct Action Everywhere claimed responsibility for the protest and identified the two women as Emek Echo and Katia Shokrai. The pair wore shirts that appeared to read "RightToRescue.com," a website that claims to be raising awareness for whistleblowers facing prison time for exposing factory farm abuses.
Direct Action Everywhere's press release said it sought to highlight an upcoming trial of whistleblowers that raised the alarm against pork producer Smithfield Foods.
Bills-Rams protesters affiliated with group that interrupted NBA playoffs, hot dog eating contest
This is far from the first time Direct Action Everywhere has attempted to use major sporting events to draw attention to its causes. Protesters affiliated with the group interrupted three different Minnesota Timberwolves playoff games over team owner Glen Taylor's chicken plant.
In those games, the first protester unsuccessfully attempted to glue herself to the court, the second chained herself to a basket stanchion and a third attempted to confront Taylor directly at his courtside seat by impersonating a referee.
Another Direct Action Everywhere attempted to send a message during this year's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, but was quickly taken down by champion Joey Chestnut.