The NFL has faced waves of criticism and bad press for the growing protest of the national anthem by its players.
The infamous protests were initially sparked by Colin Kaepernick last season when the now-former San Francisco 49ers quarterback sat or knelt during many performances of the national anthems to protest police brutality.
Kaepernick is no longer working in the NFL, but his protest lives on. Dozens of players have sat or knelt this season for the national anthem in protest of various “injustices.”
One of the largest protests was done by players of the Cleveland Browns.
Before Monday’s preseason game against the New York Giants, 11 Cleveland Browns players took a stance during the national anthem by kneeling, and perhaps praying, in a group.
The players who took a knee during the anthem include:
Chris Kirksey, Seth DeValve, Duke Johnson Jr., Ricardo Louis, Isaiah Crowell, Terrance Magee, Jamar Taylor, Jamie Collins, Gabriel Peppers, Calvin Pryor, and Kenny Britt.
Additionally, there were also several players who stood nearby the players bending their knees seemingly in solidarity.
The protest sparked a media firestorm over the Browns players. However, a week later, every single player and coach stood in respect. The commentators at the game give credit to NFL legend and former Browns superstar Jim Brown.
Jim Brown, Hall of Fame running back, reportedly told them, “Do not disrespect the flag, do not disrespect your country.”
Jim Brown, who is the most prominent Browns player in franchise history, made headlines just last week when he criticized Colin Kaepernick.
“Colin has to make up his mind whether he’s truly an activist or rather he’s a football player. Football is commercial. You have owners. You have fans. And you want to honor that if you’re making that kind of money.
If you have a cause, I think you should organize it and present it in a manner where it’s not only you sitting on one knee, but a lot of people that are going to get behind each other and do something about it.
Let me ask you one question: Who is Colin calling on to follow what he’s talking about?
I would advise the young man, if you’re a football player, play football. If you’re going to be a real activist, use your money, use your notoriety.
You have to understand there’s intelligence that’s involved, OK? I can’t be two things at once that contradict each other. If I sign for money, then the people I sign with, they have rules and regulations.”
— ThePostGame (@ThePostGame) August 24, 2017
Now, the Browns organization has gone a step further in respecting the anthem, flag, and those who serve under it. Before today’s game, the Browns took the field flanked by police, U.S. military personnel first responders, and security services.
— Fred Greetham (@FredGreetham) September 10, 2017
Just look at these images:
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