CLEVELAND– Prior to the beginning of the Browns’ second preseason game against the New York Giants, a group of players knelt and formed a huddle during the national anthem.
Jamie Collins, Christian Kirksey, Kenny Britt, Ricardo Louis, Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson, Terrence Magee, Seth DeValve, Jamar Taylor, Jabrill Peppers and Calvin Pry all took a knee near midfield on the sideline.
While one group took a knee and formed a circle, DeShone Kizer, Shon Coleman, Jason McCourty, Marcus Martin and Britton Colquitt stood alongside them.
Woah. A ton of Browns kneeling during the national anthem here pic.twitter.com/Qv6qSPs6kX
— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) August 22, 2017
A group of #Browns players knelt behind bench during national anthem, incl. Jamie Collins, Duke, DeValve, Crow, Louis, Britt, Murray, more
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 22, 2017
“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,” read a statement from the Browns.
“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.”
Various NFL players have protested the national anthem since last season, when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat, and later took a knee, during the national anthem each game. At the time, Kaepernick said his protest was in response to officer-involved shootings.
No Browns players participated in demonstrations last season. Last week, head coach Hue Jackson made news when he said he hoped all of his players would stand for the anthem, and later said he would support any of his players if they decided to make a statement.
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