A dozen players of the Cleveland Browns knelt during Monday’s pre-game national anthem against the New York Giants.
“There’s a lot of racial and social injustices that are going on in the world right now,” said 21-year-old Browns rookie Jabrill Peppers after the game, explaining his motivations for kneeling during the national anthem.
The Browns’ Seth DeValve was the first white player to join in a pre-game kneeling during the national anthem, reported ESPN. The 24-year-old explained his motivations after the game:
We wanted to draw attention to the fact that there’s things in this country that still need to change, and I myself will be raising children that don’t look like me. I want to do my part, as well, to do everything I can to raise them in a better environment than we have, right now. So I wanted to take the opportunity with my teammates during the anthem to pray for our country.
The Browns’ ownership released the following statement in response to the events:
As an organization, we have a profound respect for our country’s National Anthem, flag, and the servicemen and servicewomen in the United States and abroad. We feel it’s important to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country, including the freedom of personal expression.
Assorted ESPN pundits praised the political messaging of kneeling during pre-game national anthems.
Watch video of Browns players kneeling during Monday's pre-game national anthem below.
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