Baker Mayfield, an American football quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, said he plans to kneel during the national anthem this upcoming NFL season. This act is to show support for the ongoing protests of police brutality, social injustice, and racism.
When a fan asked Mayfield on Instagram not to kneel, the quarterback said, “Pull your head out. I absolutely am.”
Mayfield explained his reason for his response. He mentioned what former NFL player and Green Beret Nate Boyer told Colin Kaepernick in 2016.
“Everybody so upset about my comment doesn’t understand the reasoning behind kneeling in the first place,” Mayfield wrote on his Instagram story. ”Nate and Kap came to an agreement that kneeling was the most respectful way to support our military while also standing up for equality.”
“I have the utmost respect for our military, cops and people that serve our country,” the quarterback added. “It’s about equality and everybody being treated the same because we’re all human. It’s been ignored for too long and that is my fault as well for not becoming more educated and staying silent. If I lose fans, that’s OK. I’ve always spoken my mind. And that’s from the heart.”
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said earlier in the week that he would back his players in peaceful demonstrations.
“My position is I want to make sure I support our players. First things first, I want to make sure I sit down with them and talk. … I can just promise you this, we will spend as much time as needed to make sure that we are all on the same page and we are a united front from a player, staff, you name it (standpoint),” said Stefanski.