Baker Mayfield took a stand on Saturday, revealing that he would “absolutely” be kneeling during the national anthem with his Cleveland Browns teammates next year in protest of police brutality and racism in policing.
The Browns quarterback revealed the move in an Instagram comment, which was pointed out by Zach Frydenlund of Complex Sports. 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.”
Mayfield received a major response to the comments from both sides and issued a statement on his Instagram.
“Everybody so upset about my comment doesn’t understand the reasoning behind kneeling in the first place… 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.”
Texas Star J.J. Watt: Kneeling Not About American Flag
Mayfield wasn’t the only NFL star to fire back at a fan on social media over protests. The Browns QB’s post came shortly after Houston Texans defensive end 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.”
Watts comments come after his head coach Bill O’Brien said he would kneel during the national anthem with his players.
“Yeah, I’ll take a knee — I’m all for it,” O’Brien told the Houston Chronicle. “The players have a right to protest, a right to be heard and a right to be who they are. They’re not taking a knee because they’re against our flag. They’re taking a knee because they haven’t been treated equally in this country for over 400 years.”
Baker Mayfield has Called for Change Before
Mayfield recently called for action against police brutality and systemic racism during a promotional Instagram Live video for BodyArmor.
“It’s a pivotal time for a change,” Mayfield said (h/t 92.3 The Fan). “What’s being addressed right now, obviously, has been going on for a long time. So now everybody’s finally coming together to address it, and doing it the right way of holding people accountable.”
Baker Mayfield’s teammates Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. starred in a powerful video that called out the league for its response to the George Floyd protests earlier this month.
“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?”
And this is what the players wants to hear from their league: “We the NFL condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We the NFL admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We the NFL believe Black Lives Matter.”