Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield no longer plans to kneel for the National Anthem during the team’s season opener, reneging on a decision he made earlier in the offseason.
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“After reading many letters and messages… I have been showed that a gesture such as kneeling will only create more division or discussion about the gesture, rather than be a solution towards our country’s problem at hand,” Mayfield wrote on Twitter, Saturday. “With that being said, I am choosing to stand for both anthems to show respect, love, and unity to everybody involved.”
Mayfield says he still respects the decision of any of his teammates who choose to kneel during the Anthem: “I will respect all of my teammates no matter their decision. We have had meaningful discussions on what true change looks like, and that change takes all of us being together. My heart is even more passionate than it was months ago, due to the fact that we are not close to being where our country needs to be. I love this country, but these challenges and adversity are an opportunity for much needed change for issues that have been going on for far too long. It is going to come down to how we handle adversity and taking advantage of our opportunities.”
Prior to Saturday, Mayfield has been adamant about standing for the Anthem. On August 14 he explained why he planned to kneel: “There’s a human rights issue that has been going on for a long time, and I believe in that. It’s nothing against military or anybody who served. Anybody that knows my history knows that I completely support military and the people that serve our country for the right reasons and do it for justice.”
The Browns will play the Ravens at 1:00 PM, Sunday.