Baker Mayfield is ready to protest racial and social injustice. This week, the Cleveland Browns quarterback went to Instagram to call out a fan for telling him he won't kneel during the national anthem when the season begins in September. Mayfield told the fan that he "absolutely" will be kneeling in response to the death of George Floyd and others who have died due to police brutality.
"Everybody so upset about my comment doesn't understand the reason behind kneeling in the first place," Mayfield wrote in his Instagram story. "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 are all human. It's been ignored for too long and that it my fault as well for not becoming more educated and staying silent." Mayfield is known for speaking his mind and has been very vocal about Floyd's death. According to ESPN, Mayfield was seen wearing an "I Can't Breathe" shirt while working out.
Browns’ QB Baker Mayfield responding to a fan on IG: pic.twitter.com/JCgvE4EmlW— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 13, 2020
"It's a pivotal time for change," Mayfield said via ESPN. "What's being addressed now obviously has been going on for a long time. So now everybody's finally coming together to address it. And doing it the right way of holding people accountable." The good news for Mayfield is he likely won't be the only player kneeling. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that NFL players would kneel as a group this fall. It's also possible that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could kneel with the players if he's attending a game.
"Just four years ago, you're seeing Kaepernick taking a knee, and now we're all getting ready to take a knee together going into this season, without a doubt," Washington Redskisn running back Adrian Peterson said to the Houston Chronicle. Peterson also said he would "without a doubt" take a knee this season. Of course, this all started when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem in 2016. He was attacked for protesting because the thought was he was disrespecting the flag and military. Kaepernick revealed he was kneeling because he was protesting the racial and social injustice going on in the country. He opted out of his contract in 2017 and has not signed with another NFL team since.