Before their game against Japan at the World Cup in Qatar on Wednesday, players from Germany gathered on the pitch and covered their mouths in protest.
Players were upset that the football governing body, FIFA, had previously banned captains of several European teams from wearing armbands in support of the LGBTQ community.
“With our captain’s armband, we wanted to set an example for the values that we represent in the German national team: diversity and mutual respect. We wanted to raise our voice together with other nations,” the team said in a statement on its official Twitter account.
“It wasn’t about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. That should go without saying, but it isn’t. That’s why this message is so important to us,” the team said. “Denying us an armband is the same as denying us a vote. We stand by our position.”