The Colts play the Seahawks on Sunday night, which means we haven’t seen how the team’s players are dealing with the national anthem this week.
Several Colts players did take a knee last week and the team’s players released a statement on Sunday afternoon that suggests they will have some doing so again this week. The full text of the statement appears below in its unedited form.
“Recently, there have been several misperceptions regarding a personal choice made by members of our team to bring awareness to prevailing issues facing our nation. To be clear — those of us who kneeled did not intend to disrespect our flag, our National Anthem or those who serve our country. We all have family and friends who are servicemen and women. We appreciate and respect the incredible sacrifices they make.
But as NFL players, we have a platform. And as Americans, we have a responsibility to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Our intention was to raise awareness and continue critical conversations about real equality, the injustices against black and brown people, police brutality, respect, unity and equal opportunity. Our players are hurting, our people are hurting, our neighborhoods are hurting and kneeling was a direct response to that hurt.
But what makes football so special is the way it brings people together — fans, players, coaches, all of us. We represent different races, backgrounds and beliefs, but we come together for a common goal. That togetherness seen on the field and in the stands when we play should resonate even when we leave the stadium.
In that same spirit, as unified Americans, we will respect all forms of peaceful protests, as they are protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Some of our players may kneel, while others may stand. But this is just the beginning. There is much work to do, and it will take all of us.
Kneeling for JUSTICE. Standing for UNITY. Fighting for EQUALITY. Showing RESPECT.