The anthem protest that Colin Kaepernick started has spiraled out of control.
Last week, twelve players on the Cleveland Browns knelt during the anthem to protest everything under the umbrella of “injustice”.
Before the Browns’ most recent pre-season game, the team was addressed by legendary Brown and NFL royalty Jim Brown, and something surprising happened.
All players stood during the anthem before the game. Brown, an activist in his own right, trumpeted his strong patriotism.
From The Washington Post:
With an assist from one of the greatest football players of all time, the Cleveland Browns continued to take a leadership role in sending a message about social justice during the playing of the national anthem Saturday night.
Last Monday, a dozen Browns players took a knee in prayer, with a white player joining in for the first time. Before the team’s game against Tampa Bay, nearly 30 players stood and joined hands for “The Star-Spangled Banner,” a group effort made at the suggestion of Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, who met with players on Friday.
“Jim Brown’s message to us was, ‘Your message really becomes powerful when you’re unified,’ ” tight end Seth DeValve, the first white player to take a knee, said (via ESPN). “That’s what we’re trying to do right now.”
Brown was a leader when sports stars, such as Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Muhammad Ali, spoke out about civil rights in the 1960s and he was a participant in a historic sports summit to discuss the issues of the day.
“I’m going to give you the real deal: I’m an American,” Brown, 81, said on The Post Game last week. “I don’t desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I’m not gonna do anything against the flag and national anthem. I’m going to work within those situations, but this is my country, and I’ll work out the problems, but I’ll do it in an intelligent manner.”
Browns players said Brown had not told them what to do, merely emphasizing that they should act as a team after talking over the kind of protest that Colin Kaepernick first made last summer. That’s what the Seattle Seahawks did before the regular season opener last year and they, too, joined hands as they stood.
“We’re just trying to figure out the best way that we can go about our responsibilities and the things that we can do to try to impact the change,” cornerback Jason McCourty said after the game (via Cleveland.com). ” … We knew we wanted to change it up a little bit and we know we want to try to continue to get bigger numbers involved on our team of guys that are willing to do stuff and be a part of it.”
The Cleveland players’ message isn’t even defined. As with many of these nebulous left-wing protests, they use words like “change” but don’t talk about the specific change they seek or how they plan to implement it.
Fox Sports 1 analyst Shannon Sharpe said he was “disappointed” in Brown because of his comments, which demonstrates how absurd this issue has become.
Even a luminary like Jim Brown isn’t free from criticism for breaking ranks with the leftist narrative of “systemic oppression.”