Five black members of SMU's marching band took a knee on the field at Ford Stadium while performing the national anthem before the Mustangs' game against TCU in Dallas on Friday.
A group of students in SMU's student section also knelt during the anthem.
The demonstration came on a night when SMU was honoring Dallas police officers and first responders who died in action in recent months, more than two months after a gunman killed five Dallas police officers July 7.
The Mustangs wore a special decal on their helmets featuring the Dallas skyline, and Dallas police chief David Brown participated in the pregame coin toss.
TCU won the game, 33-3.