Sportswriter Dave Zirin got the discussion started by stating that more National Football League players are getting involved in the protest because of the Charlottesville protest and their belief that quarterback Colin Kaepernick is without a job because of his high-profile protests. I wanted to take that opportunity with my teammates to pray for our country and also to draw attention to the fact that we have work to do.
The group included: 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. He said, "I am here to support anyone who has the courage to stand up against injustice and oppression anywhere in this country and the world".
DeValve's wife is African-American and he said he wants to raise his children in a better environment that we have today.
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"As professional athletes, in our realm and with our platform, we can invoke a lot of change", cornerback Jason McCourty said.
It's been almost a year since Colin Kaepernick began his protests during the national anthem at football games.
"Just the other day, guys started to talk about it", DeValve said. We don't want to catch anything by surprise so we felt it was respectful to let him know what was going on, what the players were going to do before the game.
The Seattle Seahawks' Michael Bennett announced he plans to protest the anthem all season.
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Mr DeValve said that he was inspired in part by the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a white supremacist drove a vehicle through a group of people on the streets, killing one woman who was attending counter protests to fight racism.
"We took the opportunity to pray for our country and for the men and women in this country during that time", he added.
"It was just us being together, a bunch of teammates praying for the world". As I said before, we respect our flag.
"I love this country, more than anything".
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