CLEVELAND — As recently as last month, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said he planned to kneel for the national anthem during the 2020 season to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
But on the eve of the Browns' season opener vs. the Baltimore Ravens, the third-year signal-caller has changed his mind.
Taking to Twitter on Saturday, Mayfield said that he now plans to stand when the national anthem is played this season. The No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft said that his decision comes after seeing Thursday's season opener between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans and the video released by the Miami Dolphins, who stressed the need for tangible change as opposed to symbolic action.
"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."
Mayfield went on to state that while he'll be standing, he'll continue to support any teammate who chooses to kneel.
The action of kneeling during the national anthem has been a hot button topic in the NFL since then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began doing so during the 2016 season to protest police brutality. In 2019, Kaepernick -- who has remained un-signed since the end of the 2016 season -- settled a collusion case with the NFL that alleged the league's owners conspired against signing him.