CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam sent out a statement this morning in the wake of players taking a knee during the national anthem, and President Donald Trump's comments on the issue.
The statement reads:
"We view our organization, our league and our players as great unifiers of people. Our players, just like so many others across our league, have been honest and thoughtful with their attempt to bring awareness to the issues of inequality and social injustice. We were incredibly moved by the meaningful and powerful dialogue they initiated within our organization when they spoke of their intent to unify and not be disrespectful while using familiar and important terms like one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Their intent is to create positive and unifying change and that was demonstrated well by the unity they led prior to our home opener. They have continued to prove this dedication to unite diverse members of our community throughout this past month by establishing direct conversation with the Cleveland Police Department and creating a plan to work together in our neighborhoods. We are also proud of their many other significant efforts in our city throughout the year that are done quietly to improve the lives of others.
We must not let misguided, uninformed and divisive comments from the President or anyone else deter us from our efforts to unify. Our stance in support of the liberties of peaceful, personal expression afforded to our players and all Americans will remain strong, and we will continue to encourage our players to respectfully use their earned platform to inspire positive change in our nation and throughout society."
President Trump said last night on Twitter that players should "not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag" and that they should stand for the national anthem. He added that if they didn't, they should be fired. He continued to tweet Sunday morning about the topic.
The Cleveland Browns play the Indianapolis Colts today at 1 pm in Indianapolis, and the game is shown on CBS 19.