Baker Mayfield will be kneeling in protest with his Cleveland Browns teammates when the season begins.
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 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.”
Mayfield also noted that simply donating money is not enough. There needs to be teaching done, the former No. 1 overall pick said.
“It’s about teaching people,” Mayfield said. “That’s extremely important to fund that [cause], but to teach the importance of equality and including everybody is the most important part.”
Mayfield’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.”
Jarvis Landry Called for Browns Teammates to Use Platform for Change
Browns Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio revealed that Landry gave a passionate speech to his teammates on how to use their platforms during this time.
“Jarvis [Landry] came up and he spoke to the team for maybe 10 minutes and they just tried to tell us how we can use our platform a little bit better because I think the vast majority of people want to help,” Bitonio said. “They want to improve the situation. Jarvis was emotional when he spoke with the team and he just wants change. He wants you to be a part of it and really try and help.”
Landry has voiced on his social media channels, as has Beckham, who organized a highly-successful t-shirt sale with all profits going to Black Lives Matter.
“Like many other people around the world, I was heartbroken and extremely disturbed when I saw the video of George Floyd being murdered by police officers,” Beckham wrote in the About Us section of the website for the shirts. “In an effort to do something to help the cause of ending police brutality, I wanted to help promote a T-shirt that sends a message that we demand justice for George Floyd and an end to police brutality.”
Baker Mayfield Taking Offseason to New Level
The comment that drew the attention was posted on a video that showed Mayfield putting in work at the Onnit Gym in Austin, Texas, where he has been posted up during the COVID-19 quarantine.
Mayfield is seen pumping some iron and working on his explosiveness in the video. It should also be noted that Mayfield wore an, “I CAN’T BREATHE” shirt during the workout video, another sign that the QB is behind the cause.
Last year was humbling for the former No. 1 overall pick, to say the least. Mayfield finished the season with 3,827 yards, 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, ranking next-to-last in both passer rating (78.8) and completion percentage (59.4%).
He has been open that this is a year where he feels he needs to turn things around to reflect more of the promise he showed his rookie season, when he set the record for touchdown passes by a first-year QB.
“For me, it goes back to the mindset that I am comfortable and living in and that work-ethic mentality. I think that fits it. There is no doubt Year 3 is always a big year in these contracts,” Mayfield said in a recent conference call with reporters. “Timing wise, everybody knows that. I am not going to put any added pressure on myself. There is no need for that because if I win, good things will happen and good things will happen for our team and the guys around me.”