Boyer backed Mayfield after the former No. 1 overall pick said that he would “absolutely” be kneeling this season alongside his teammates during the anthem.
“Everybody so upset about my comment doesn’t understand the reasoning behind kneeling in the first place,” Mayfield wrote. “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. It’s about equality and every being treated the same because we are 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 okay. I’ve always spoken my mind. And that’s from the heart.”
Boyer responded, saying: “You just gained one.”
Mayfield’s initial comments came in response to a fan on one of his post. The comment said: “Please tell Browns fans you’re not going to be kneeling this season. Mayfield quickly fired back: “Pull your head out. I absolutely am.”
Nate Boyer: Have to Make Sure Narrative Understood
Boyer — a retired Army Green Beret — famously consulted Kaepernick and convinced the former 49ers quarterback to kneel instead of sit during the national anthem.
“We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammates,” Boyer said. “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect. When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security.”
Boyer recently weighed in on comments made from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on national anthem protests, saying he will never support “disrespecting the flag.” Brees’ comments were met with immediate and swift backlash, including from his own teammate Michael Thomas.
“I’ll just speak on the Drew Brees thing really quickly – he’s a really good dude, man. He does a lot for the city of New Orleans,” Boyer said. “Even what he said in his response, well, he said what he said, so I don’t know what he meant exactly. But I absolutely don’t think he meant to ostracize himself or make this issue about something that it’s not.
“But the fact of the matter is that we’ve gotta … make sure that the narrative is understood that the protests are about racial inequality, social injustice and police brutality, and that kneeling during the anthem was a mechanism to raise that attention and to get those voices heard. But it’s not about disrespecting the flag or disrespecting the military, and I think Drew knows that.”
Other Prominent Players Speak Out on Protests
Mayfield wasn’t the only NFL star to fire back at a fan on social media over protests on Saturday. The Browns QB’s post came shortly after Houston Texans star defender J.J. Watt responded to a fan who suggested he would not kneel during the anthem.
“A) don’t speak for me. B) if you still think it’s about disrespecting the flag or our military, you clearly haven’t been listening.”
Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., Mayfield’s top two targets, have been among the most vocal players when it has come to the George Floyd protests against police brutality and racism in policing. On top of their social media statements, the two starred in a powerful video that featured many of the league’s top players asking for change.
“It’s been 10 days since George Floyd was murdered. How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players. What will it take? For one of us to be murdered by police brutality?”
Each player then comes on screen and says: “What if I was George Floyd?”
The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have since responded, saying it will
“It has been a difficult time for our country, in particular black people in our country. First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all the families who have endured police brutality,” Goodell said. “We, the National Football League condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We the National Football League admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We the National Football League believe black lives matter. .. I personally protest with you, and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country.”
The NFL has committed $250 million over the next 10 years to fight systematic racism.