The Cleveland players decided to kneel and pray during the national anthem.
Several Cleveland Browns players, including one white player, decided to kneel in a prayer circle during the national anthem before their preseason game against the New York Giants on Monday night.
Seth DeValve, a 24-year-old tight end out of Princeton, is believed to be the first white NFL player to kneel for the Star Spangled Banner since Colin Kaepernick's anthem protests last season.
ESPN reported that running backs Duke Johnson Jr. and Terrence Magee, safeties Jabrill Peppers and Calvin Pryor, cornerback Jamar Taylor, receivers Kenny Britt and Ricardo Louis, linebackers Kirksey and Jamie Collins, and running backs Isaiah Crowell and Brandon Wilds also kneeled. Multiple other players stood by with their hands on their kneeling teammates.
DeValve explained after the game why he did it, saying he wanted to pray for his country.
"The issue is that (America) doesn’t provide equal opportunity to everybody, and I wanted to support my African-American teammates today who wanted to take a knee. We wanted to draw attention to the fact that there’s things in this country that still need to change,” he said.
The group of players kneeling is believed to be the largest team display yet.
The Browns released a statement on the protest at halftime.
Browns coach Hue Jackson said the players came to him before the game and told him what they were going to do.
“We respect our players; we respect the flag,” Jackson told reporters after the 10-6 win. “Those guys came to me and talked to me about it before they ever made a decision to do it.”