After a dozen Cleveland Browns players knelt in protest during the National Anthem at last Monday’s NFL preseason game, Jim Brown – the team’s legendary Hall-of-Famer – said he’d never disrespect his country’s flag. At yesterday’s game, every Browns player stood at attention during the Anthem.
In their game on August 21, 12 Browns players reportedly chose to take a knee in protest, despite the National Football League franchise’s official statement of respect for the United States and its flag.
Later that week, in an interview, Jim Brown said that players should keep their profession and their activism separate. Football players are paid well, and they should respect their country when they are on-camera or in a game, representing their employer, Brown said:
“If you’re a football player, play football. If you’re gonna be a real activist, use your money, use your notoriety.”
Brown said that he, personally, would never disrespect his country’s flag and anthem:
"I’m an American. I don't desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I'm not gonna do anything against the flag and national anthem. I'm going to work within those situations. But this is my country, and I'll work out the problems, but I'll do it in an intelligent manner."
The Browns anti-anthem antics last week angered fans – and even prompted a local veterans’ facility to begin boycotting the team’s games. As MRCTV.org reports:
“A local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post in Strongville, Ohio now says it’s refusing to air Browns games on weekends, normally a well-attended gathering for their sports fans, saying they love their flag more than their football team.”
The sign in the front yard of VFW Post 3345 proudly declares:
“We Like Our Browns – We Love Our Flag More. Your Games Will No Longer Be Shown Here. God Bless America!”