Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and Jaguars owner Shad Khan both issued statements on Sunday morning after players on both teams knelt and linked arms while the national anthem was playing before their game at Wembley Stadium in London.
Khan, who donated $1 million to President Donald Trump’s campaign, stood on the sideline and linked arms with tight end Marcedes Lewis and linebacker Telvin Smith while the anthem played. In his statement, he called it an honor and privilege to “show the world that even if we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation.”
“It was a privilege to stand on the sidelines with the Jacksonville Jaguars today for the playing of the U.S. national anthem at Wembley Stadium. I met with our team captains prior to the game to express my support for them, all NFL players and the league following the divisive and contentious remarks made by President Trump, and was honored to be arm in arm with them, their teammates and our coaches during our anthem. Our team and the National Football League reflects our nation, with diversity coming in many forms — race, faith, our views and our goals. We have a lot of work to do, and we can do it, but the comments by the President make it harder. That’s why it was important for us, and personally for me, to show the world that even if we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation.”
Bisciotti’s statement expressed the team’s support for players using their voices and influence to share their views, calling it the “highest form” of democracy.
“We recognize our players’ influence. We respect their demonstration and support them 100 percent. All voices need to be heard. That’s democracy in its highest form.”