Earnest Byner, LeBron James offer differing views on NFL anthem - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Earnest Byner, LeBron James offer differing views on NFL anthem protests

(Source: AP Images) (Source: AP Images)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Demonstrations during the national anthem at NFL games continued during Monday Night Football.

Players from the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals, along with coaches and owners, all linked arms with their team during the singing of the anthem.

Cowboys players briefly kneeled before the anthem was played with owner Jerry Jones. 

But we did not see anyone kneeling during the anthem. 

Meanwhile, we heard from LeBron James this Monday on the hot-button issue.

President Donald Trump is "using sports to divide us," he said.

James has made it clear he is no fan of the president, and today he said he commends everyone who is trying to make a difference during NFL games.

The NBA star did not shy away from politics during media day on Monday.

He said the anthem demonstrations have been a show of solidarity, and football players have shown that they are not divided.

"I commend these guys and I commend everyone who's trying to make a difference," James said. 

James did not mention the president by name, but said that he is using sports to divide people, including the fans.

He says he personally does not feel he has to take a knee to make his point heard, but he would support any teammate who would chose to do so.

“It's not about the disrespect of our flag and our military, and everybody that has made this world free. It is about equality, and people having the option and the freedom to speak upon things they feel is just. It's not about disrespecting the flag,” James said.

Many athletes are speaking out on the anthem protests, even retired athletes.

Former Browns running back Earnest Byner has a different perspective on what we've been seeing on the field.

“We all have the freedom of choice, the freedom of speech, freedom of protest. But to me, on your job is not the place where it needs to be done. We do have platforms, and those platforms should be used outside the game, as opposed to at the stadium,” Byner said.

Byner also clarified his position on Twitter:

The Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in the locker room during the national anthem before Sunday's game, except for  player and former army ranger Alejandro Villanueva, who held his hand over his heart. His jersey is now the number one selling jersey in the league. 


Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said on Monday night that all of the Steelers players will be on the field for the anthem this upcoming Sunday. 

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