Dwayne Allen says he was praying, not protesting

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Dwayne Allen has been taking a knee at the end of the national anthem for years.

After NBC’s cameras showed him kneeling during Sunday Night Football, the Colts tight end felt compelled to explain himself. Allen said, via the team’s official website, that he’s been praying on one knee at the end of the anthem as long as he’s been in the league. NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya explained that during the broadcast.

“I wanted to take the time to clear up something that was misreported by NBC,” Allen said. “For every game of my career, I have taken a knee towards the end of our anthem to say a prayer for every man that steps foot on that field. Because of recent events, I have to stand here and explain to you why I’m kneeling on the field. After reviewing some of the comments, over the social media platforms, I realize that sometimes a view will spoil the bunch. But it was a vast majority that were expressing words of hate, not love, not devotion and not pride for our great nation. What I want most is for this world to be a better place for everyone who lives in it. For this country to be a better America for everyone who lives in it. And for those reasons, I’ll continue to kneel and I’ll continue to pray. I love this country. I love everyone that lives in it. Go Colts.”

After the image of Allen kneeling was broadcast by NBC, the Colts contacted NBC to explain the Allen always takes a knee immediately after the anthem. NBC immediately clarified that Allen had not been kneeling during the anthem, and that he always takes a knee to pray when the anthem ends.

He might pray but it doesn’t look like he’ll play this week because of an ankle injury suffered against the Texans.