Baker Mayfield plans to kneel during the National Anthem this season, and if he loses fan support because of it, he’s fine with that, according to a comment he made on an Instagram post on Saturday. Bleacher Report posted the comments on Twitter. Mayfield also said he thought people who were angry about his comments, still didn’t understand what the point of kneeling as a protest was.
Field Yates was one of the first to report on Mayfield’s original comment on Twitter. The Browns’ quarterback responded to a fan who asked him to proclaim he wouldn’t be kneeling this year. Mayfield responded, “pull your head out, I absolutely am.”
Several other users then responded to his comments with angry messages. It was those messages that apparently drove Mayfield to expound on his original comment.
“Everybody so upset about my comment doesn’t understand the reasoning behind kneeling in the first place,” Mayfield posted.
“Nate [Boyer, a former NFL player and Green Beret,] and Kap [Colin Kaepernick] came to an agreement that kneeling was the most respectful way to support our military while also standing up for equality. I have the utmost respect for our military, cops, and people that serve our country. It’s about equality and everybody being treated the same because we’re all human. It’s been ignored for too long and that is my fault as well for not becoming more educated and staying silent. If I lose fans, that’s okay. I’ve always spoken my mind. And that’s from the heart.”
Mayfield is just the latest NFL player to announce he’ll be kneeling this fall. Several of the most high profile personalities have come forward in response to the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests. Some players have said they should have knelt alongside San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he was staging his protest.
Earlier this month league commissioner Roger Goodell released a video apologizing for not listening to those protesting during the anthem. While he didn’t mention Kaepernick by name, those around the NFL took the comments as approval of kneeling.
There is at least one player who wonders whether the protests planned by Mayfield and others might do more harm than good in 2020. Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson is one who supported the protests in previous years. As The Inquisitr reported previously, Jackson said he thinks the hyperpartisan attention kneeling gets isn’t a “net positive” for the movement. For now, Mayfield believes it’s still needed.