Seth DeValve, who is married to a mixed race woman, became the first white NFL player to kneel during the pregame national anthem. The 2nd year tight end for the Cleveland Browns took a knee with his black teammates before Monday night’s preseason game against the New York Giants.
Nearly a dozen players on the Browns team kneeled down during the pregame anthem while their teammates put their arms around them.
DeValve joined the protests one week after Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett challenged white players to join their black teammates in protesting the national anthem.
In a statement to reporters after the game, DeValve explained why he joined the protest.
I love our national anthem. I’m very grateful to the men and women who have given their lives and give a lot every day to protect this country and to serve this country,” he said.
The Princeton graduate married Erica Harris in June 2017. He said he hopes their future children grow up in a better world.
“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 are things in this country that still need to change. I, myself, will be raising children that don’t look like me and I want to do my part as well to do everything I can to raise them in a better environment than we have right now.”
Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick was blacklisted for taking a knee during last season’s pregame anthem. Many believe Kaepernick’s protests were self-serving — as evidenced by the fact that he promised not to protest this season if a team signed him.
The NAACP, Black Caucus and other organizations have threatened to boycott the 2017-18 NFL season if Kaepernick is not signed.
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