Browns owners weigh in on NFL controversy, call Trump’s comments ‘divisive’


(Browns owner Jimmy Haslam at a news conference on Dec. 30, 2013 following the firing of Rob Chudzinski.)

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CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, and his wife, Dee, on Sunday released a statement about the continued controversy involving President Donald Trump his disapproval of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

Read the full statement, below:

“We view our organization, our league and our players as great unifiers of people. Our players, just like so many others across our league, have been honest and thoughtful with their attempt to bring awareness to the issues of inequality and social injustice. We were incredibly moved by the meaningful and powerful dialogue they initiated within our organization when they spoke of their intent to unify and not be disrespectful while using familiar and important terms like one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Their intent is to create positive and unifying change and that was demonstrated well by the unity they led prior to our home opener. They have continued to prove this dedication to unite diverse members of our community throughout this past month by establishing direct conversation with the Cleveland Police Department and creating a plan to work together in our neighborhoods. We are also proud of their many other significant efforts in our city throughout the year that are done quietly to improve the lives of others. We must not let misguided, uninformed and divisive comments from the President or anyone else deter us from our efforts to unify. Our stance in support of the liberties of peaceful, personal expression afforded to our players and all Americans will remain strong, and we will continue to encourage our players to respectfully use their earned platform to inspire positive change in our nation and throughout society.”

The Haslams’ comments come after President Trump called for the firing of NFL players who knelt during the national anthem while he was speaking at a rally in Alabama.

“They’re ruining the game,” Trump said.

The following day, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Saturday slammed Trump’s criticism of the players, saying the President showed an “unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”

More coverage on this story, here.

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