The Premier League is finally back after 100 days off due to COVID-19 ... and the players made a profound statement at kick-off by taking a knee to honor George Floyd.
All players for Aston Villa and Sheffield United -- as well as the referees -- participated in the demonstration on Wednesday ... showing solidarity with the fight against police brutality and social injustice.
Along with taking a knee, all players are wearing "Black Lives Matter" on the back of their jerseys.
The EPL acknowledged the gesture on Twitter ... saying, "There is #NoRoomForRacism, anywhere."
The players made their intentions clear in a joint statement last week ... saying, "We, the Players, stand together with the singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists, to bring about a global society of inclusion, respect, and equal opportunities for All, regardless of their colour or creed."
"This symbol is a sign of unity from all Players, all Staff, all Clubs, all Match Officials and the Premier League #blacklivesmatter #playerstogether."