MARTIN Luther King's daughter performed the coin toss at Super Bowl LIII tonight – amid the ongoing NFL race row involving player Colin Kaepernick.
Bernice King flipped the ceremonial coin to decide whether the New England Patriots or the LA Rams would kick off the epic clash at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Rams secured the kick off and chose to receive the ball from their Boston-based rivals.
But it was the Patriots who had the last laugh with a 13-3 victory in Atlanta.
New England special teams standout and captain Matthew Slater called heads and the coin turned up tails – but the Rams deferred, giving Tom Brady and the Patriots the ball first.
Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, was also joined by civil rights pioneers John Lewis and Andrew Young as they stood at midfield with the players for the toss.
It comes amid the simmering row between the NFL and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick – who chose to kneel during the American national anthem in protest at racial inequality.
He has not played in the NFL since last year, claims team owners have deliberately frozen him out because of his activism.
The league said players not willing to stand for The Star-Spangled Banner could stay in the changing rooms until it had been performed.
President Trump called players who "disrespect" the US flag "sons of b*****" and called for them to be sacked.