“We respect and support our players’ right to protest peacefully,” said a news release from Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. “This was a demonstration for justice and equality for all Americans. These are core values we can all support.”
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 13, 2020
Ravens defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale knelt during the anthem, too; as did defensive end Calais Campbell and quarterback Lamar Jackson, noted the Sun.
“A lot of players on this team are really passionate about the community, about our backgrounds and where we come from,” said Campbell post-game. “I think most of the guys wanted to protest against the injustices in our community. … This is just an opportunity for us to use this platform to try to affect change in the communities.”
As noted by The Daily Wire, reports emerged back in July about the NFL playing “Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing” before all Week 1 games.
The song was one of a “variety of other measures” made by the NFL “to recognize victims of police brutality,” according to a source, an ESPN report outlined at the time.
The national anthem has become a partisan issue in recent years, mainly stemming from then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s anthem kneeling back in 2016. He said it was a protest against law enforcement and America more broadly, which he claimed is plagued by racism.
Kaepernick, who began the anthem protest when he started to see little field time, claimed America was “oppressing” minorities and allowing cops to “murder” innocent people of color.
“People of color have been targeted by police,” the now-Nike sponsored athlete said at the start of the controversial protest. “So that’s a large part of it, and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher. You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist.”