DETROIT - Kelly Stafford, wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, took to Instagram on Wednesday to talk about the ongoing protest in the NFL of the national anthem.
Stafford posted to her Instagram, saying:
"I've been hesitant to talk about this, as I know I will get backlash from it," Stafford writes on Instagram, "but I believe we can stand and show our unity against everything that doesn't represent what this flag stands for. Let's stand united against terrorists, against racism, against white supremacists, against killing of cops, against police brutality, against sex slave trafficking.. against anything that is not the ideal for this country.
"Let's unite in the fact that God made us all unique and different and that is something we should cherish. You can disagree with me and that is totally ok.. let's use this forum to discuss (not yell at each other) and listen to one another."
During Monday's Cleveland Browns-New York Giants game, more than a dozen players formed a circle on the Cleveland sideline Monday night and prayed in silent protest during the national anthem.
The group, which included veterans, rookies, starters and backups, gathered in front of some water coolers and behind their teammates who stood on the sideline shortly before the Browns hosted the New York Giants.
In the aftermath of the recent racially charged conflict in Charlottesville, the Browns felt compelled to use their platform to make a difference.
"I wanted to take the opportunity with my teammates during the anthem to pray for our country," said tight end Seth DeValve, one of two white players to participate. "And also to draw attention to the fact that we have work to do. And that's why I did what I did."
Linebackers Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey, running backs Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson, Terrance Magee and Brandon Wilds, safety Jabrill Peppers, DeValve, wide receivers Kenny Britt and Ricardo Louis and defensive back Calvin Pryor dropped to one knee in a huddle. Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, offensive tackle Shon Coleman, punter Britton Colquitt, defensive back Jason McCourty and offensive lineman Marcus Martin stood and supported their teammates by putting their hands on their shoulders.
The protest was the largest so far in a social-consciousness movement started last season by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who became a polarizing figure for kneeling during the anthem and is currently out of the NFL. In recent days, Seattle defensive lineman Michael Bennett and Philadelphia defensive back Malcolm Jenkins also have called attention to what they feel is racial injustice in the country.
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