CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Before taking his first snap of the 2020 season, Baker Mayfield has already reversed course.
On Saturday, Mayfield posted on his Twitter and Instagram accounts that he has changed his mind and will stand for both the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which will be played before every NFL game this season, Sunday in Baltimore.
“After watching Thursday's game and also watching the Dolphins' players video... it shows that it is not about who is standing or who is kneeling for the anthem. But instead, coming together and taking action to create real change," Mayfield wrote.
“Also after reading many letters and messages over the past few weeks... I have been [shown] that a gesture such as kneeling will only create more division or discussion about the gesture, rather than be a solution towards our country's problems at hand. With that being said, I am choosing to stand for both anthems to show respect, love, and unity to everybody involved.
“I will respect all of my teammates no matter their decision. We have had meaningful discussions on what true change looks like, and that change takes all of us working together. My heart is even more passionate than it was months ago, due to the fact that we are not close to being where our country needs to be. I love this country, but these challenges and adversity are an opportunity for much needed change for issues that have been going on for far too long. It is going to come down to how we handle adversity and taking advantage of our opportunities.
“I am posting this now so it is not a discussion on game day. And so the discussion can continue to be about how to better our country, instead of divide us. Our team is ready to fight for our goals both on and off the field.
“Go Browns – Baker.”
Mayfield’s announcement comes hours after another video of police brutality went viral on social media – this time of Clayton County Georgia Sheriff’s deputies beating an African American man for allegedly refusing to show them identification after they reportedly pulled a ride-share vehicle that he was a passenger in over for a broken tail light.
In June, Mayfield pledged to join his teammates in kneeling during the anthem in protest of police brutality, racial inequality and social justice. He is a member of the team's 11-member social justice committee.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski and defensive end Myles Garrett declined to say what was planned in form of a protest or demonstration prior to Sunday’s game against the Ravens on Friday but Garett did say, “Whatever we do, we are going to do it together.”