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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Cleveland Browns Players Kneel Not in Protest, but in Prayer during National Anthem

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Aug 23
  • Comments

Football season is right around the corner, and with this time of year comes a renewal of the controversy of NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, which was begun by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Recently, several Cleveland Browns players decided to kneel during the National Anthem, not to protest, but simply to pray.

According to, during the Browns’ recent pre-season game on Monday night, several players knelt to pray during the National Anthem. What truly made this act noteworthy was that not only were black players kneeling, but Browns’ tight end Seth DeValve, a white player, chose to kneel in solidarity with his black teammates.

This was the first time a white player knelt during the National Anthem. Previously, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett called on white players to actively support their black teammates. “It would take a white player to really get things changed,” Bennett said.

And that was what DeValve did Monday night.

“We were saying a prayer,” explained Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey. “If anyone was wondering what was going on, we were saying a prayer. We were praying over the country, praying over things that’s going on.”

“It’s our responsibility to do something,” DeValve added. “It wasn’t a protest of praying. We took the opportunity to pray for our country and for the men and women in this country at that time.”


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Publication date: August 23, 2017