Browns release statement after players’ national anthem protest

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The Browns released a statement at halftime after at least 11 players knelt during the national anthem:

“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 for our team 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.”

Jamie Collins, Seth DeValve, Duke Johnson, Kenny Britt, Ricardo Louis, Terrence Magee, Calvin Pryor, Jamar Taylor, Isaiah Crowell, Jabrill Peppers and Christian Kirksey were players who took a knee during the anthem, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.

68 responses to “Browns release statement after players’ national anthem protest

  1. Easy solution. Sing the anthem when the players are still in the locker room. Problem solved.

  2. Not standing for the National Anthem didn’t prevent Charlottesville. All it’s doing is keeping an already divided nation divided. Unless you’re physically crippled and unable to stand, there is no reason to not stand.

    Extreme things like this, the neo-Nazis, and Antifa have no place in our society. Period.

  3. They need to visit an old aged home with some 90 something plus veterans that jumped off duck boats into the English channel 73 years ago and listen to what they went through before “articulating” why they see the need to be disrespectful to the flag and our nation’s anthem.

  4. Didn’t Peppers “take a knee” before Michigan’s bowl game against Florida State….

  5. Rumor has it that while Britt was kneeling, another Browns player read him his Miranda rights so that he felt right at home.

  6. I’m sure I’ll get down voted to oblivion for this opinion on this site, but I don’t understand why people find this protest offensive the service members. They aren’t protesting or speaking to anything regarding veterans or the armed forces, and the national anthem has no direct relation to the armed forces more than any other part of the government.

    Maybe the protesters should be allowed to determine what it is they’re protesting.

  7. I disagree with these players disrespecting the flag. As a grandson of a WW1 coast guardsman a son of a WW2 marine and a veteran of the USAF I was brought up to never even consider such a look at me act, but I respect these players right to do it. People do a lot of things I don’t like, America is like that, but you sure wouldn’t get away with it in a lot of countries, that’s why America is the best damn country in the world.

  8. Can we please move on from this. It’s a “look at me” show now. Do something positive in ur communities. Support youth programs. Educate people.

  9. The closest the Browns will get to practicing the victory formation this season is on the sidelines

  10. Respect the flag and country, play the game , and do your protests on your own time! This is beyond ridiculous. But what do you expect from the factory of sadness! This stuff makes me sick.

  11. Probably would have been better off saying nothing than releasing a vanilla statement that tries to come out on both sides.

  12. No statement will satisfy the uneducated who believe that forcing lock step rituals “respecting” the flag and anthem somehow honors the freedoms we actually should respect. What’s next, attacking the fan next to you if he doesn’t hold his hand over his heart?

  13. They demand the respect of people and law enforcement, when they commit genocide against themselves after having come in and destroyed our old neighborhoods.

    You teach people how to treat you. Oprah Winfrey said that.

  14. If you anthem zealots are so offended why don’t you go after the hundreds of people milling about the stadium concourses during the anthem? Have the courage to walk right up to them. That’s a perfect opportunity for you to personally express your disappointment face to face to someone you believe is disrespecting the anthem.

  15. “I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It”

  16. Here’s the fix.
    Have the players stay in the locker room until after the anthem. All they are doing is acting out. We don’t like to se such low character behavior and disrespect for this great country and those who defend it. Putting their lives and limb’s the line everyday..
    Fact is, any one of these players makes more in one year than a military person will in their lifetimes. Such disrespect and arrogance by these so called NFL players is hateful and selfish. Is that what we pay to see?
    People are turning away from the NFL.

  17. I wish hypocrites quit including servicemen and women in trying to deprive others of their constitutional rights! If you support the country, then you support the Constitution of the United States which is the oath we veterans took to defend, with ours lives if necessary, not a friggin’ song! The so called “National Anthem” has nothing to do with the United States of America! It’s literally just a bunch of Masonic symbolism! Having an “official” song is like sports franchises having an official beer: dumb!

  18. I guess I won’t be watching as much football this year. See how they deal with that. Overpaid crybabies.

  19. Everyone in this country should have to serve at least four years in order to gain their citizenship. I’m willing to bet seeing people die on a battlefield will change their tune really quick.

    It’s so nice to be sheltered in one of the safest countries in the world.

  20. When your employees do something while in uniform and on the clock and the company accepts it then the company supports it, Cleveland Browns are as un American as the come!

  21. The Browns have a history of playing at a level where it doesn’t matter if they’re on a knee or not. Stay irrelevant Cleveland!

  22. Wow. This is indeed progress for our nation. A white man kneeling along side his AMERICAN teammates? Now maybe some of the racists in the world can understand the message of equality this protest is trying to get across. I am a 100% black man with white grandparents, and this is beautiful to me.

  23. Proud of those players for expressing themselves, and proud of the Browns for respecting their expression.

  24. It’s a classic strategy. Create a distraction so people don’t focus on how awful you really are.

  25. They are entitled to take a knee and the offended public is entitled not to have to go see them doing it. See how easy that is Browns.

  26. This movement is spreading, and I for one am happy about it, and also glad that some white players are tuning in and supporting it. It is not disrespect to the flag or the USA or all of that malarky. It is raising the contradiction of racial inequality and excessive police violence every day against African American men. They are seeking to raise awareness about this issue and I am glad they are. And despite a reactionary backlash, they are succeeding.

  27. Is kneeling to the NA an actual form of protest? I kneel to God in my hometown Catholic church. Sitting or turning your back would be obvious forms of protest, but not kneeling.

  28. If a protest takes place on the Browns sideline and nobody is watching, did a protest take place?

  29. You’re their employer. You control what they do on “company time”. The least you could do is have them respect the game by not constantly sucking.

  30. I am not a fan of protesting the anthem but that was not what happened here. In the postgame interviews with the players they all said it was a prayer, not a protest. One of the players leading the prayer, Seth Devalve, does ministry work. They were praying for unity and strength in this great country. The sad thing is that in order for the national media to care about their thoughts and cover them, they have to do it during the anthem to get the message across.

  31. Browns players taking a knee? Well, they don’t get to do it at the end of games. Maybe they just wanted to experience the victory formation.

  32. Everyone has a right to protest and voice their opinions. But you don’t necessarily have the right to do those things while doing your job. Doing so COULD effect your employment status.

  33. These things used to bother me but now I’ve just lost interest. You know that feeling you get when you know a relationship is over.

  34. Well there goes the unity on that team. They just can’t seem to catch a break.

    Expect another losing season…

  35. As a fan it’s hard for me to understand how these players who have been treated like celebrities all their lives can survive under the hardships of playing a game while being paid millions of dollars per year.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to them.

    I’m looking forward to them being helped by the tens of thousands of homeless, drug addicted, alcoholics and schizophrenics who don’t have to endure such hardships.

  36. The “you can’t protest on your employer’s time” method of expressing bigotry is getting old. Most of the commenters expressing this false narrative were the same people losing their minds when Bibles were being banned from office desks and employees were being prohibited from wearing crosses. You can’t have it both ways.

  37. I’m sorry, but the generalities of “inequality” without any real specifics is really starting to tee me off. Inequality for who? It feels like the protest is that only black people are not treated equally in our country. Outside of these instances with the police, what are the other examples? How about other minorities? Hispanics, Asians, Muslims? Are they too experiencing inequality? If so, why aren’t they mentioned in these protests?

    In reality, this is a socio-economic issue. Whether black, white, asian or other inequalities are prevalent between the rich and the poor. Without getting too far into this, generational poverty molds culture and in many of our black AND white communities, we have not done a good enough job of addressing this issue.

    Anyway… just tired of it being portrayed as a black and white issue when its much more than that.

  38. These demonstrations are so silly. Raising a fist or kneeling during the anthem doesn’t do anything to solve any causes nor does it actively help anybody. All it does is bring attention to the individuals doing it. It’s just slacktivism.

  39. I’ll be exercising my free speech and not buying tickets or paying for parking or buying hot dogs or jerseys. They just saved me a lot of money and the heartache of an inferior product.

  40. “I’ll be exercising my free speech and not buying tickets or paying for parking or buying hot dogs or jerseys”.

    You never bought an NFL ticket in your life. You may have picked up a jersey from Goodwill.

    It’s so easy to get on the internet and claim to stop doing something that you’ve never done.

  41. rho1953 says:
    August 21, 2017 at 10:59 pm
    I guess I won’t be watching as much football this year. See how they deal with that. Overpaid crybabies.


    That’s your right and I respect your opinion, but I find it awfully hard to believe someone who is actively commenting on an NFL blog will suddenly give up watching. Generally I don’t think this will stop most people from watching.

  42. cardinealsfan20 says:
    August 21, 2017 at 10:50 pm
    If you anthem zealots are so offended why don’t you go after the hundreds of people milling about the stadium concourses during the anthem? Have the courage to walk right up to them. That’s a perfect opportunity for you to personally express your disappointment face to face to someone you believe is disrespecting the anthem.


    What about the millions of people who are watching at home on their couch drinking a beer during the anthem.

  43. “What about the millions of people who are watching at home on their couch drinking a beer during the anthem?”

    Yep, the anthem zealots should go after them also. Of course, that would mean that the zealots would have to go after themselves.

  44. The flag is a symbol of our country, not the military. He has the right to make a symbolic statement about the United States. It is not a rap on the military, so stop twisting it around.

  45. The NFL should pass a rule that all players MUST stand for the anthem or be suspended. Not doing this shows they don’t care about the TV ratings, and ultimately the league’s survival.

  46. Easiest solution, stop playing the national anthem before sports. What is the point? Why do we do it? Just because someone started doing it one day. That’s the only reason. It has nothing to do with the sport. It makes no sense to have such a big controversy over something that makes no sense in the first place.

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