The NFL has been at the center of attention over the last few days, as a back-and-forth has occurred between teams around the league and the President of the United States. Sunday’s slate of NFL games was full of players, coaches, and more showing signs of solidarity with one another after Donald Trump called those who protest inequality and police brutality during the national anthem a “son of a bitch.”
One of the more notable moments came before the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars kicked off their game in London. Ray Lewis was at the game, and dropped down onto two knees while locking arms with a pair of Ravens players.
It was kind of surprising to see this, as Lewis has spoken out against protesting during the anthem by dropping to a knee in the past. But during an episode of Showtime’s Inside the NFL, Lewis tried to explain exactly what he was doing on Sunday. Long story short, he was on two knees instead of one, because he was praying.
“I dropped on two knees, both knees, so I could simply honor God in the midst of chaos,” Lewis said.
After getting pressed on the subject by James Brown, Lewis expanded on his actions.
“I have First Amendment rights myself,” Lewis said. “We’ve got people standing, we’ve got people bowing, we’ve got people don’t even wanna respect the flag. If we wanna make it right, make it two ways. You can only stand or pray.”
Lewis also said that he will never agree with those who protest during the anthem because of how much he does for the military and police. Additionally, he called out former teammate Shannon Sharpe, who on Monday’s episode of Fox Sports’ Undisputed said he was disappointed in Lewis — the former All-Pro linebacker appeared on the show and said he could never kneel for the national anthem.
Now in fairness to Lewis, he tried to elaborate on what his actions meant and how Sharpe’s interpretation of events were wrong. But Lewis also has missed the point of Kaepernick’s original protests, as evidenced by the fact that he believes that he has to stand or pray to show respect, and that by dropping to a knee shows a sign of disrespect towards the flag.