CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield says he will be kneeling during the national anthem this season.
On Saturday, he shared a video on Instagram of him working out and wearing an “I can’t breathe” shirt in reference to George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on the back of the 46-year-old’s neck for several minutes.
That officer and three others present at the time have all been fired and charged.
A user wrote on the post, “Please tell Browns fans you’re not going to be kneeling this season.” To which Mayfield replied, “Pull your head out. I absolutely am.”
The exchange sparked a heated debate with fans. Mayfield again responded to another user, this time with a more lengthy explanation about his decision to kneel.
“The ignorance in this response says it all. It’s more than just the flag. It’s about our country and everyone being treated as equals. I have the utmost respect for our military and people that serve for our freedom. Look up Kap and Nate’s agreement on what is the middle ground for standing for the right thing,” he said.
See the latest protest for George Floyd in Cleveland below.
Browns head coach Mike Stefanski was asked earlier in the week about players kneeling during the national anthem. He said he wants to make sure he supports them.
“We will spend as much time as needed to make sure that we are all on the same page and we are a united front from a player, staff, you name it [standpoint]. We want to make sure that we are constantly staying in the dialogue on these issues because it is not something that is just going to go away,” he said.