On Monday, a handful of Cleveland Browns players dropped to one knee before the team took on the New York Giants. The group went behind their teammates who were standing on the sideline as the song played and formed a circle. Several other teammates gathered around the group and put their hands on those who knelt.
Jordan Zirm tweeted out a picture of the group, which shows that at least a dozen Browns either knelt or were standing with those who took a knee. The players who put their hands on their teammates in a show of support included rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer and veteran punter Britton Colquitt.
The Browns have been a team to watch with regards to the national anthem protests across the league. That’s because Cleveland’s head coach, Hue Jackson, said that he “would hope that we don’t have those issues” when it comes to players kneeling when the Star Spangled Banner plays before Browns games.
He ended up walking that back a little a few days later, claiming that he was misquoted and that while he has concerns about protesting the anthem, “There are many effective ways athletes can utilize their platform if they so desire, but I would respect any individual decision as ultimately it would be the player’s choice after much thoughtful dialogue.”
Ever since Colin Kaepernick sat during the anthem before a preseason game last year, there have been a number of small demonstrations around the league while the anthem played. This is the one of the larger displays we have seen so far, and it shows that more than a year after Kaepernick started protesting, players are still eager to come together in this small act of solidarity.