Colts’ players release statement on taking a knee during anthem

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 24: Members of the Indianapolis Colts stand and kneel for the national anthem prior to the start of the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Colts’ players released a statement clarifying why players kneeled during the National Anthem in last week’s game.

The announcement comes ahead of Sunday’s prime-time game against the Seattle Seahawks.

The statement reads as follows:

“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 who 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 to continue critical conversations about real eqaulity, the injustices against black and brown people, police brutality, respect, unity, and equal opportunity. Our players are hurting, our people are hurting, out 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.”

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