Monday night before the Cleveland Browns preseason game against the New York Giants, a group of 12 players took a knee during the National Anthem in support of the ongoing movement against social injustice.
For the first time, a white player was among the group that knelt. Seth DeValve, a tight end for the Browns took a knee with team. Seth is he’s married to a black woman, Erica Harris, and initially there were reports that his children’s future was what motivated him to take a knee.
However following the game, Seth clarified that he was taking part in a “prayer group” for the U.S. while the anthem was being sung.
“We took the opportunity to pray for our country and for the men and women in this country during that time,” he told reporters
The move comes after Browns’ head coach Hue Jackson stated he would prefer his players NOT get involved with anthem protests.
“I think everybody has a right to do, and I get it, but the National Anthem means a lot to myself personally, the organization and our football team. I hope – again I can’t speak, I haven’t really talked to our team about it – I would hope that we don’t have those issues. I understand there is a lot going on in the world. I like to just keep it here. What we deal with, we try to deal with as a team in our closed environment. We talk about things. Hopefully, that won’t happen. I can’t tell you it won’t happen, but I just know our guys, and I don’t think that is where our focus is. We hope the things that are going on in the world get ironed out, but I know right now we are doing everything we can to get our football team better.”
– Browns’ Head Coach Hue Jackson