Browns to use pre-anthem video for players to state social concerns

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The Browns may not be winning many games this year, but they’ll be 1-0 when it comes to finding a way to let players express concerns about racial equality and social justice beyond the two minutes the national anthem is playing.

Per multiple sources, the Browns will play before the anthem a pre-produced video in which players express concerns about racial equality in America. The video, roughly 30 seconds in length, includes messages from tackle Joe Thomas, quarterback DeShone Kizer, linebacker Jamie Collins, linebacker Christian Kirksey, and coach Hue Jackson, among others. It closes with tight end Randall Telfer explaining that the flag isn’t about the red, white, and blue fabric but that it’s about what the flag stands for.

The players also asked owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam to stand on the field with the team during the playing of the video and the national anthem.

The video flows directly from the message given to players by Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown after 12 of them took a knee for the anthem preceding the Week Two preseason game before the Giants. He suggested that they come up with an alternative, constructive approach to communicate their concerns regarding racial equality. And so they did.

And so should every other team in every other stadium. With the anthem currently providing players with their only opportunity to send a message, the league should urge all teams to carve out a separate spot for allowing the message to be sent in a way that undermines in no way the national anthem or the flag.

So congratulations to the Browns players and their ownership for finding a way to harmonize important social issues and the national anthem. Win or lose today or for the rest of the season, this is a huge victory for the Browns and the NFL.

118 responses to “Browns to use pre-anthem video for players to state social concerns

  1. Interesting. Sounds like a smart idea. If players really have something to say, they can say it instead of just sitting out the anthem and being seen as unpatriotic. We shall see how it turns out in real life though. This can make the players look like serious concerned citizens or total buffoons if not careful.

  2. So lets go down this slippery slope. So now everyone at work can put up a video? “Do you know what really grinds my gears??”….

  3. I agree, giving a separate spot for protests is the right way to handle them. I applaud the Browns for doing this. This also allows the media to better cover the protest if they so choose.

    The only problem is that by sanctioning special slots for anti police protests while actively banning players from doing any demonstrations in support of the police the NFL has thoroughly defined itsself as having an anti police stance. Yet when they want protection and security they are have no qualms about turning to the police. The mixed message is fairly hypocritical and really I dont see how anyone can say they are all about freedom of speech when they are only talking about their speech.

  4. Interjecting politics into a stadium video will only guarantee more fans will tune out the message. The more politics are brought into the NFL, the league’s popularity will be affected.

  5. Darn, I don’t know about this. I watch football to get away from politics and talking heads and folks with agendas.

    With that said, I understand the multi-cultural problems in the U.S. (and in other countries), but I just don’t see how any of these displays — from taking a knee during the anthem to putting together videos to express opinions — do anything but detract from the game of football. Additionally, of course, in 2017 America few people on either side of any issue are capable of listening to the other side and learning anything. #Sigh

  6. Maybe someone should invent a website where people can post videos when they think they have something to say. I would buy stock in that.

  7. Congratulations! I have no problem with this, although I still don’t care to see it. I can just turn my head. Finally people are using their brains. There are so many other ways to get your message across without angering half of the country. Well done. This was my entire point all along. This is a much better way to use their platform rather than the way poor Kap used his. Truly and honestly, good job Cleveland.

  8. I think everyone should make a video of how they feel about any social issue, take it to work on Monday morning & show it to their boss & peers. Then, sit back and see what happens………It may not be pretty!

  9. Talk is cheap! How bout we DO SOMETHING about the root issue here? Remember WHY the PROTEST started in the first place? Let’s go ahead and get REAL with this. We all start by attending a DIVERSITY AND PLURALISM seminar. Stop playin with this. TAKE ACTION AND STAND UP AGAIN INJUSTICES!

  10. lets kneel and protest cops at the National Anthem…
    Cops then decide they arent needed and dont show up….
    Then every alt left person in USA whines about it and calls them racists…

    No, we are not created equal or deserve equal. Liberty rules all. If you work harder you deserve more its simple. No stealing Jordans from other people at gunpoint. Pat Tillman would be knocking these dudes heads in. He’s a real American Hero. He literally quit playing football and gave his life so Kaepernick can whine and cry and be a racist.

  11. Lol, yeah I’ll pay top dollar for that. A bunch of guys who majored in public recreation and then left school early are telling me how the world works.

  12. Another step towards the end of the NFL. Fans don’t dress up like dawgs and paint their torsos to be preached to. They go to GAMES to have a good time. Do these players really think peop,e aren’t getting these messages and taking sides already? Along with their inflated paychecks and egos these 2-12 players have an overinflated perspective on their social importance. Now let’s talk about female announcers on MNF. Another nail in the coffin.

  13. Mainly black people being paid millions of dollars to play a game complaining about equality. Pretty funny. Hopefully this video gets massive boos as it is being played.

    The SJW National Football League. Only in America could you see a pro sport morph into this garbage and yes, professional athletes stating their political or societal views is garbage since people aren’t paying to go hear their views. It’s even better when these are multi millionaires who really have no concept of what life is like for the average Joe.

    I wonder if they are going to address the black on black crime/shootings that keep happening every weekend in Chicago and Baltimore and ask that black people be kinder to other blacks given something like 85-90% of all black murders and black victims of violent crimes happen at the hands of other blacks. I’m guessing they’ll conveniently ignore that.

  14. Hope none of the players in the video picks a political side like CNN and the media wants the world to do. We have been pulling together with a lot of pride and love of our fellow country men in the wake of the disasters happening in the last weeks. We just really don’t need these people dividing us like Hollywood and the media tries to. I just hope this doesn’t turn into a video that angers people more instead of wanting us to change into a better, more unified country.

  15. This is much better than kneeling/sitting during the national anthem. Don’t care what people say, yeah it’s their right to kneel during the anthem, but it’s disrespectful. This is isnt disrespectful, so your more likely to have people who are actually going to listen verse instantly turn away.

  16. truevision21 says:
    September 10, 2017 at 11:01 am
    Remember WHY the PROTEST started in the first place? Let’s go ahead and get REAL with this.

    ——————-
    Are you referring to a player getting benched for poor performance, sulking on the sidelines about it, then when confronted about the sulking grabbed a handy excuse?

  17. So so dumb. Nobody wants their Sunday afternoon at the stadium infused with politics. This is pure virtue signaling garbage. And since when does the word “justice” need a qualifier in front of it? Our laws and institutions ARE just. Furthermore, “inequality” is born from liberty. People are free to make their own life choices in this country. Some people make good ones, and others make bad ones. Choices like not graduating from high school and having a child out of wedlock is highly correlated with living in relative poverty. This applies to all races. 74% of black children are born out of wedlock today. The problem with the black underclass, the white underclass, the hispanic underclass, is not racism, but DECISIONS and CULTURAL VALUES!!! Make good ones and own your own circumstances. GO BROWNS!!!!!

  18. Here are some facts for them to make their presentations.

    1. The narrative that cops target blacks is lie. About 26% of police shootings involve black people. While it is true that blacks make up only 13% of the population, they account for over 28%-30% of all violent crime including between 47%-52% of all murders so you would expect more black people to be shot by law enforcement. (Source FBI table 43)

    2. BLM and rioting are destroying black communities. Do you really think after witnessing Ferguson and Baltimore that large corporations are going to invest in black majority communities? The business risk and insurance costs would be to high, civil disorder is NOT covered under a standard policy.

    3. Black parents should have a talk with their children about avoiding other black people as 94% of all black crime is black on black, that is statically greater than white on white crime witch is 89 percent, given the differences in number of violent crime per capita it is clear who poses the greatest threat to black children.

  19. 99.99999999% of Americans will never see the video, only those inside the stadium. No need to get worked up. And many of those at the stadium will be walking up a ramp or be in a concession line waiting for their 13th beer of the day, anyway.

  20. Just so I’m clear, are we going to celebrate if/ when a team makes a pro-life video before a game? Or do celebrations of these types of things only come if they have a left leaning message?? My spidey senses tell me this would only be accepted from one direction.

  21. Who knew so many commenters on here were just a bunch of snowflakes? Boo-hoo-hoo, I don’t want to listen to someone’s opinion on social injustice. Poor me!

    God forbid we ever return to a place where people can respect (or at least respectfully disagree with) someone else’s opinion without throwing a hissy fit over it.

    Glad there wasn’t a comment section in the days of Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Ali, etc…

  22. The current status quo is not ok. We have an abundance of hate in this country that has become emboldened since the election due to economic anxiety and otherizing of our fellow citizens.

    Start talking to your family, neighbors, friends. Tell them racism and bigotry is not ok and needs to end. If you see something say something. Hate is wrong in any form do not just ignore it any longer.

    Lastly, it’s time to change the way policing is conducted in this country. Police officers terrorizing the people they are sworn to protect. Call your local departments, let your elected officials know there needs to be a fundamental change in this country’s policing. The asset forfeiture, militarizing of police is only going to cause more issues.

    Until we all take part in changing the current status quo. This will be your football life.

  23. The last thing I need is preaching coming from a football team, player or for that matter any celebrity. Go play, go sing, go make a movie. I can figure the rest out.

  24. camdenyard says:
    September 10, 2017 at 11:14 am

    By the way, it’s this horse**** and court battles over every player suspension
    —————————–

    The court battles only happen for the incompetent league suspensions. The ones where they try and make a statement and try to dupe people into believing they care about a cause.

  25. huskersrock1 says:
    September 10, 2017 at 11:13 am
    Here are some facts for them to make their presentations.

    1. The narrative that cops target blacks is lie. About 26% of police shootings involve black people. While it is true that blacks make up only 13% of the population, they account for over 28%-30% of all violent crime including between 47%-52% of all murders so you would expect more black people to be shot by law enforcement. (Source FBI table 43)

    2. BLM and rioting are destroying black communities. Do you really think after witnessing Ferguson and Baltimore that large corporations are going to invest in black majority communities? The business risk and insurance costs would be to high, civil disorder is NOT covered under a standard policy.

    3. Black parents should have a talk with their children about avoiding other black people as 94% of all black crime is black on black, that is statically greater than white on white crime witch is 89 percent, given the differences in number of violent crime per capita it is clear who poses the greatest threat to black children.
    ———————–

    So wrong on all counts. But you keep pushing that fake information to suit your agenda. I really don’t have the interest to take apart your post line by line.

  26. Looks like some of the people that believe the anthem shouldn’t even be part of the pre-game because, “what does it have to do with sports?” are all of of a sudden okay with a social justice video during the pre-game even though, ya know… it has nothing to do with sports. Did I get that right?

  27. Maybe ESPN can add a segment to their highlights entitled, “Come on ‘Merica!” Players on every team can tell us how we should think about current issues.

    Maybe Florio can start a 2nd sister site called PPFT (Political Pro Football Talk)! That would be awesome! How about it Mike?

  28. goodellisaclown

    First you say:
    Who knew so many commenters on here were just a bunch of snowflakes? Boo-hoo-hoo, I don’t want to listen to someone’s opinion on social injustice. Poor me!

    Then you say this??
    God forbid we ever return to a place where people can respect (or at least respectfully disagree with) someone else’s opinion without throwing a hissy fit over it.

    Pot Meet kettle!

  29. and the NFL is wondering why TV ratings are down. Pro football is money and money is regulated. The normal game telecast is more ads and talking heads than actual game. Then you have the ESPN experts and their ‘who can top’ this description. Bye bye NFL.

  30. Yeah, a bunch of millionaire athletes preaching/crying about inequality in a video displayed to a working towns fans before the game. This should go over well. I hope the fans sing the anthem during the video and turn their backs to it while it’s being shown. Ridiculous.

  31. We get it. According to the black community the problems are white people and laws in general. The only problem is, most people aren’t stupid enough to fall for that.

  32. Just in case there were any Browns fans left to buy a ticket to see the worst franchise in sports, they find a new way to antagonize and alienate – subject the fans to a political rally!

  33. variant703 says:
    September 10, 2017 at 11:30 am
    huskersrock1 says:
    September 10, 2017 at 11:13 am
    Here are some facts for them to make their presentations.

    1. The narrative that cops target blacks is lie. About 26% of police shootings involve black people. While it is true that blacks make up only 13% of the population, they account for over 28%-30% of all violent crime including between 47%-52% of all murders so you would expect more black people to be shot by law enforcement. (Source FBI table 43)

    2. BLM and rioting are destroying black communities. Do you really think after witnessing Ferguson and Baltimore that large corporations are going to invest in black majority communities? The business risk and insurance costs would be to high, civil disorder is NOT covered under a standard policy.

    3. Black parents should have a talk with their children about avoiding other black people as 94% of all black crime is black on black, that is statically greater than white on white crime witch is 89 percent, given the differences in number of violent crime per capita it is clear who poses the greatest threat to black children.
    ———————–

    So wrong on all counts. But you keep pushing that fake information to suit your agenda. I really don’t have the interest to take apart your post line by line.

    ————–

    LOLOLOL, Seriously, that is all you got? You could have at least said that Obama’s FBI faked their statistics or something.

  34. yet another reason to not watch football.I did not spend my usual $300.oo on hats and shirts and haven’t purchased the NFL package on Direct TV.Hopefully the league will get the message

  35. Seriously, forcing a political agenda on people paying for entertainment is a bad business model. Personally I don’t care what the Browns do, honestly I am kind of glad they are doing it, this train wreck is going to be fun to watch.

  36. I can respect their desire to put forward their concerns in a constructive matter. Now if they speak out about the problems in the inner city such as drugs, teen pregnancies, “snitches get stitches”, gun violence, etc I will actually take them seriously. This “do as we say, not as we do” or pleas to focus on only the issues they choose are hypocritical. Of course the bottom kisser here will applaud these folks because to point out their selective outrage would be the ethical but controversial thing to do and some players might not take his calls.

  37. I DON’T WATCH FOOTBALL TO BE LECTURED BY PEOPLE WHO BARELY GRADUATED COLLEGE WITH THE HELP OF TUTORS ON SOCIAL ISSUES AND OTHER GARBAGE. I WATCH FOOTBALL TO ESCAPE FROM THE WORLD FOR AN AFTERNOON. WHEN ARE YOU GONNA GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL? If you want to cram political BS down my throat before games, I am not going to watch. Just pay football.

  38. People will be dying in Florida while this video is being played today. Pause and think about that…while a massive hurricane is ravaging Florida, the Browns will go out of their way to talk about racial issues. Tone deaf.

  39. The best “solution” to avoid this is to get rid of the ridiculous anthem ceremony in the first place. Then they won’t be put in a position where they have to protest anything, and they can play some damn football

  40. and so the cancer grows within the NFL…’SJW and the NFL’….keep shoving ‘it’ in the fan’s face when all he/she wants to buy is a football game…..ratings are going to tank again on top of even the last 2 seasons….

  41. So many athletes have such a poor ability to speak and be understood, this could be a hoot to try to listen to.

  42. And what the hell is this mythology the site is pushing about the players not being given a voice? They get microphones pushed in their faces before and after every game, they get radio interviews whenever they want one, they have local newspaper writers’ at their beckon call. If an NFL player wants to make a statement that will be heard at any time, they have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and they KNOW it will be picked up and seen by thousands if not millions. And they need a special time set aside before the game to push their views? Because they don’t have a venue other than during the national anthem? BS.

  43. bikeman99 says:
    September 10, 2017 at 10:28 am
    The Browns organization is irrelevant
    ___________________________________________

    Yet you’re taking the time to read an article about them and make a comment……seem pretty relevant to you.

  44. Watch the mass exodus to the concession stand, bathroom etc. during this video.
    As it should be.
    Browns will never be winners.

  45. I don’t pay for season tickets to hear football players speak on ANYTHING. I play to watch them play and really could care less if what they don’t like or care about. stop post game press conferences stop it all and just play the games. On another note I don’t care what my mailperson has to say or think I just prefer they deliver the mail.

  46. Hard to believe a team that struggles to put a win together could solve our current dilemma with the anthem protests. Well done all around. They get to express their message and put their name on it. As long as this ends the anthem nonsense I welcome it. Two minutes out of a three hour game is entirely more palatable then seeing them, in my opinion, disrespect our flag and country. Good work Browns.

  47. Its time for football fans to unite. Dont watch the 1st 1/2 hour of football at 1:00 PM on tv week 1. Then wk 2 dont watch the 1st hour of football ….week 3 the 1st hour and a half…..by week 8 the owners will get the meassage when now one is watching the 1pm games. Maybe then they will realise the POWER FOOTBALL FANS HAVE WHEN U DONT LISTEN TO US.

  48. Most football fans also care about our country. The indeed care a lot about politics. We escape into the football world, and other forms of entertainment, but we don’t pretend the real world doesn’t exist. Why else do they play the national anthem before games? Why wouldn’t they just play a team’s fight song if this stuff wasn’t important. Nobody has the market cornered on loving America. Nobody is more patriotic than their neighbor, even if they have completely different beliefs. The Browns are bringing people together. Jim Brown is an old man, but he’s as sharp as ever. The world is evolving and America isn’t going to be left behind. We never have, and hopefully never will.

  49. madmike66 says:
    September 10, 2017 at 12:02 pm
    I DON’T WATCH FOOTBALL TO BE LECTURED BY PEOPLE WHO BARELY GRADUATED COLLEGE WITH THE HELP OF TUTORS ON SOCIAL ISSUES AND OTHER GARBAGE. I WATCH FOOTBALL TO ESCAPE FROM THE WORLD FOR AN AFTERNOON. WHEN ARE YOU GONNA GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL? If you want to cram political BS down my throat before games, I am not going to watch. Just pay football.
    ____________________

    I agree. It’s not why I watch football either. As you said, you don’t need to watch if it offends you.

    That being said, what does someone’s education level have to do with anything? Just curious. Does not having a degree erase their life experiences and make their opinion less valid? Maybe the Browns should grant 10 sec. in the video to those w/out a degree, 30 sec. to those with a degree, and 60 sec. to those who have done some graduate work? Would that make their opinions more acceptable to you?

  50. Just curious, when will the payers be releasing their pre-game video taking a stand against domestic violence, DUIs, theft, illegal drug use, and all the other sorts of crimes that NFL players get arrested for EVERY SINGLE SEASON?????? When you clean up your own house maybe you can lecture America on how to behave.

  51. We have become a country where we hold football players to higher standard than the politicians we elect to run the country. I don’t have a dog in the hunt when it comes to football players and the national anthem…not because of any political leanings, it’s because I cannot remember the last time I watched the national anthem performed before a game! I try to time turning to the game just as the ball is being kicked off. I’ve never seen a single “protest”.

  52. So now will there be 30 second videos about all kinds of different things that mean things to other players? Or just a 30 second video about things only SOME players care about. Where is the 30 second video about domestic violence? Where is the 30 second video about child abuse? Oh only certain people get 30 second videos about THEIR issue because THEIR issue is more important then everyone else’s. I understand now. Soon it will just be 3 hours of 30 second videos and no football left.

  53. Better than letting them disrespect the flag (assuming they don’t do it anyway) but I believe a better idea would be to speak on their own time. If they feel they must say something while on the clock then let them tell the reporters at the post-game pressers.

  54. I’ve got respect for this. I still generally think Sundays in the NFL should be about football, but this is a far better option than sitting/kneeling for the anthem.

    Leave it to the Browns to crack the code on this issue.

  55. Just curious would the Cowboys have been allowed to play a 30 second video giving their opinions on the killing of the Dallas police officers last season by that….peaceful, oppressed shooter?

  56. Wow, that was what they were focused on this week? No wonder they will take a beating verse their division “rival” today. Getting lectured to at a sporting event is awesome.

  57. Go to a game and watch 20-somethings lecture you on a non-sport subject you’re sick of hearing. Awesome way to start the season.

  58. madmike66 says:
    People will be dying in Florida while this video is being played today. Pause and think about that…while a massive hurricane is ravaging Florida, the Browns will go out of their way to talk about racial issues. Tone deaf.
    ___________________

    They’ll probably wait to protest this until they get a definite count on the black people affected by it. Irma after all sounds like a white person name so it’ll be our fault somehow

  59. Wouldn’t it be cool if you went to a restaurant and they started playing an anti-police left wing social justice video?

  60. I just watched it, they avoided most of the social justice crap, I guess if that is what it takes to get them to stand for the anthem like a reasonably patriotic person then whatever.

  61. Well done Cleveland! Respect for what our nation stands for; Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our flag represents those liberties. When I enlisted as a Marine I took an oath to uphold the Constitution. I fly the flag in my yard and believe everyone has the right to express their views.

    Now win some games so that the city of Cleveland can be proud of their football team.

    Pat’s fan and a Patriot just sounding off.

  62. I do find it funny that a bunch of people who make far more than anyone watching ever will are lecturing them about “inequality”.

  63. The most liked comment so far was “Except that most fans don’t care at all about their politics, we just want to watch football.”

    Allow me to translate : “Except that most fans don’t care at all about their humanity, we just want to watch them perform like trained animals.”

  64. How about these guys actually DO something to affect change?!?! Go to schools, talk to black youths about staying out of trouble. Combine that with the police where you’re working together on that. Show TRUE unity. Somebody needs to go into Chicago and do this as well. Show how the pitfalls of gangs are killing their own people. Taking a knee and showing a video will do NOTHING to change what these guys are protesting. You want to take a stance against racism? DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! Talk is cheap.

  65. Still confused about the apparent outrage over this one. Right or wrong, kneeling or doing something to draw attention to yourself during the National Anthem is divisive. In my opinion, what the Browns have decided to do is (or at least should be) a better alternative.

    Nobody’s forcing anyone to watch or listen. Even if you don’t agree with anything the players are saying, shouldn’t you at least be applauding the fact that they are concerned about their community? Is it really that much different than the other team produced in-stadium videos that play prior to kickoff focused on good works around the city by the team, etc.

  66. Michael E says:
    September 10, 2017 at 1:32 pm
    Wouldn’t it be cool if you went to a restaurant and they started playing an anti-police left wing social justice video?

    ———————–

    Wouldn’t it be cool if you went to a restaurant and they started playing the national anthem and expecting you to stand for it?

  67. variant703 says:
    September 10, 2017 at 11:30 am
    huskersrock1 says:
    September 10, 2017 at 11:13 am
    Here are some facts for them to make their presentations.

    1. The narrative that cops target blacks is lie. About 26% of police shootings involve black people. While it is true that blacks make up only 13% of the population, they account for over 28%-30% of all violent crime including between 47%-52% of all murders so you would expect more black people to be shot by law enforcement. (Source FBI table 43)

    2. BLM and rioting are destroying black communities. Do you really think after witnessing Ferguson and Baltimore that large corporations are going to invest in black majority communities? The business risk and insurance costs would be to high, civil disorder is NOT covered under a standard policy.

    3. Black parents should have a talk with their children about avoiding other black people as 94% of all black crime is black on black, that is statically greater than white on white crime witch is 89 percent, given the differences in number of violent crime per capita it is clear who poses the greatest threat to black children.
    ———————–

    So wrong on all counts. But you keep pushing that fake information to suit your agenda. I really don’t have the interest to take apart your post line by line.

    ———————

    I cant help noticing that he cited his sources, and you didnt. Just sayin’

  68. dl72fan says:
    September 10, 2017 at 4:47 pm
    Michael E says:
    September 10, 2017 at 1:32 pm
    Wouldn’t it be cool if you went to a restaurant and they started playing an anti-police left wing social justice video?

    ———————–

    Wouldn’t it be cool if you went to a restaurant and they started playing the national anthem and expecting you to stand for it?

    ——————–

    Yes!! That would be amazing!!

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