CLEVELAND, Ohio- Heading into a week 4 match-up against the cross state rival Cincinnati Bengals, players with the Cleveland Browns say they still have no plan for what they intend to do when the national anthem is played.
One week after the team stood on the sidelines linking arms with members of the city's safety forces, many of the Browns players took a knee during the anthem before their week 3 game in Indianapolis.
On Friday, players were not ruling out that they might do it again.
"We want to unify Cleveland and just send unity around the whole us; still trying to figure it out because we have to focus on the game on Sunday. We are trying to come up with something right now, but the main thing is to make sure we are sending the same message," said Browns cornerback Jamar Taylor.
Browns linebacker James Burgess was among those who chose to kneel. It is clear he understands how the demonstration has polarized fans. He defends the intended message.
"Our message is being corrupted; it's not anti-military, U.S. Army, anything. We are protesting strictly social inequality, social injustice, but they keep trying to make it seem as though we are against the military," Burgess told FOX 8 News on Friday.
Republican Congressman Jim Renacci on Friday announced that he is pulling a $20,000 ad that he intended to air during the Browns/Bengals game.
In a statement, Renacci said, in part. "While the first amendment clearly affords NFL players and officials the freedom to engage in this appalling behavior, having the right to do something does not mean it's the right thing to do."
Browns cornerback Jason McCorty attended a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the week to talk about what direction the demonstrations should take.
He had no reaction on Friday to Renacci's statement.
"I don't need to hear his quote. I got the gist of what you are saying, but I don't know what you want my response to be to that, so, I have no response to it -- no disrespect," McCourty told FOX 8.
McCourty says following the meeting he intends to focus more on the intent of the message and not on the act of kneeling.
"As players we need to get back to what the issues are, stop talking about an anthem, and stop focusing on that. Focus on the social injustice, the police brutality. When answering questions speak on the issues; don't speak on what the protest is," said McCourty.
"When Sunday comes we will deal with it. I have just been focusing on the game so far," said Browns running back Isaiah Crowell.