Last week, 12 Cleveland Browns players chose to follow Colin Kaepernick‘s example and kneel during the National Anthem in protest before their game against the New York Giants.
However, on Saturday before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, every single player and coach stood in respect.
When play-by-play commentator Jim Donovan noticed that they were all standing, his partner, Doug Dieken, gave full credit to Jim Brown who had met with the players right before the game.
Jim Brown, Hall of Fame running back, reportedly told them, “Do not disrespect the flag, do not disrespect your country.”
Jim Brown, who is the most prominent Browns player in franchise history, made headlines just last week when he criticized Colin Kaepernick.
— ThePostGame (@ThePostGame) August 24, 2017
“Colin has to make up his mind whether he’s truly an activist or rather he’s a football player. Football is commercial. You have owners. You have fans. And you want to honor that if you’re making that kind of money.
If you have a cause, I think you should organize it and present it in a manner where it’s not only you sitting on one knee, but a lot of people that are going to get behind each other and do something about it.
Let me ask you one question: Who is Colin calling on to follow what he’s talking about?
I would advise the young man, if you’re a football player, play football. If you’re going to be a real activist, use your money, use your notoriety.
You have to understand there’s intelligence that’s involved, OK? I can’t be two things at once that contradict each other. If I sign for money, then the people I sign with, they have rules and regulations.”
Brown finished the interview with a powerful statement:
“I’m going to give you the real deal: 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.”
Last week’s national anthem protest by the Browns players sparked both positive and negative reactions, some fans even refused to watch any games in the future if they continued to kneel.
It appears Brown took this situation into his own hands on Saturday and was able to talk some sense into the players.