Cleveland Browns’ head coach Hue Jackson took a hard-line stance on NFL players protesting the National Anthem. Ok, perhaps it wasn’t the hardest of lines, but he at the very least made his thoughts on any of his players taking a knee or sitting during the anthem very clear.
Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com reported Jackson’s thoughts on the protests, which were basically that he understands the freedom to protest, but he doesn’t want to see it on the Browns’ sideline.
Jackson’s quote is below:
“I think everybody has a right to do, and I get it, but the National Anthem means a lot to myself personally, the organization and our football team,” Jackson said when asked about anthem protests re-emerging in the NFL following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend. “I hope — again I can’t speak, I haven’t really talked to our team about it — I would hope that we don’t have those issues.”
Obviously, the first name that pops up when discussing the anthem protest in NFL circles is former 49ers’ quarterback and current long-time free agent Colin Kaepernick, but Oakland Raiders’ running back Marshawn Lynch recently sat during the anthem before a preseason game and his former teammate in Seattle, defensive end Michael Bennett, did the same in his preseason contest.
This is a protest, and a talking point, that won’t go away anytime soon, and it’s worth noting that there’s certainly nothing wrong with having the discussion. These players aren’t protesting a paycheck or anything trivial like that, after all. They’re trying to shed a light on some major social issues that our country needs to talk about. The way they’re going about it may not agree with everybody, but as Bennett recently told ESPN, they’re trying to use their platform:
“With everything that’s been going on the last couple of months, and especially after the last couple of days seeing what’s going on in Virginia, and earlier today in Seattle,” Bennett said after his team’s 48-17 victory. “I just wanted to be able to use my platform to be able to continuously speak on injustice.”Advertisement
That’s a cause worth talking about. It’s just a cause that likely won’t find its way to Cleveland’s sideline, at least publically.