About a dozen players from the Cleveland Browns team are receiving applause for taking a knee on Monday night, to pray about racial and social injustice, during the national anthem before their pre-season game against the New York Giants Monday night.
“We just felt like it was the right time and the need to do it,” linebacker and prayer leader Christian Kirksey told ESPN.
“There’s a lot of racial and social injustices in the world that are going on right now,” Jabrill Peppers, another player who participated, said after the game. “We just decided to take a knee and pray for the people who have been affected and just pray for the world in general.”
“We were not trying to disrespect the flag or be a distraction to the team,” Peppers added, “but as men we thought we had the right to stand up for what we believed in, and we demonstrated that.”
Although most of the identified players—including Kirksey, Peppers, Jamie Collins, Duke Johnson, Isaiah Crowell, Calvin Pryor, Jamar Taylor, Kenny Britt, Ricardo Louis, Brandon Wilds, and Terrence Magee—are black, they were joined by Seth DeValve, the first known white NFL player to kneel with teammates since a trend of pre-game protests over racial injustice began last season.
Click Here: los jaguares argentina
DeValve said the action was partly inspired by Charlottesville, but it was also personal for him. His wife is African American, and he said he took a knee because he hopes to raise his children “in a better environment than we have right now,” adding: “I wanted to take the opportunity with my teammates during the anthem to pray for our country and also to draw attention to the fact that we have work to do.”
“The United States is the greatest country in the world. It is because it provides opportunities to citizens that no other country does. The issue is that it doesn’t provide equal opportunity to everybody,” DeValve told ESPN.
The players—including athletes who remained standing, but placed supportive hands on their kneeling teammates’ shoulders—were celebrated on social media:
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT