Ahead of their Sunday night tilt, the Indianapolis Colts sported “We Will Stand For…” shirts as controversy over the national anthem continues.
The Colts also released a statement ahead of the game:
Here’s what that note said:
“Recently, there have been several misperceptions regarding a personal choice made by members of our team to bring awareness to prevailing issues facing our nation. To be clear — those of us know kneeled did not intend to disrespect our flag, our National Anthem or those who serve our country. We all have family and friends who are servicemen and women. We appreciate and respect the incredible sacrifices they make.
But as NFL players, we have a platform. And as Americans, we have a responsibility to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Our intention was to raise awareness and continue critical conversations about real equality, the injustices against black and brown people, police brutality, respect, unity, equal opportunity. Our players are hurting, our people are hurting, our neighborhoods are hurting, and kneeling was a direct response to that hurt.
But what makes football so special is the way it brings people together — fans, players, coaches, all of us. We represent different races, backgrounds and beliefs, but we come together for a common goal. That togetherness seen on the field and in the stands when we play should resonate even when we leave the stadium.
In that same spirit, as unified Americans, we will respect all forms of peaceful protests, as they are protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Some of our players may kneel, while others may stand. But this is just the beginning. There is much work to do, and it will take all of us.
Kneeling for JUSTICE. Standing for UNITY. Fighting for EQUALITY. Showing RESPECT.
Earlier in the day, the San Francisco 49ers joined national anthem protests in a kneeling/standing combo.
For the most part, teams backed off of protests one week after nearly every team had some form of protest.
“Wouldn’t you love one of these NFL owners… when someone disrespects our flag say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field, right now, out, he’s fired.”