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Christian NFL players respond to President Trump’s protesting comments

Sunday week 3 of the NFL saw its players, coaches, front office men and even owners, choose many different forms of response to the comments made by President Trump on Saturday regarding protests and the National Anthem.

Many players chose to lock arms in a show of unity, others sat on the bench, some knelt, and three teams, the Titans, Seahawks and Steelers chose to remain in the locker room. Two NFL owners, Jacksonville’s Shahid Khan and Washington’s Dan Snyder, locked arms with players during the national anthem prior to their respective games.

Below is a collection of the responses from Christian players around the NFL.

Benjamin Watson, Ravens tight end (via Good Morning America

“There was a tremendous amount of emotion and a tremendous amount of hurt. We felt as many others did, that this was a direct attack on our brotherhood. Obviously the name calling is something we don’t stand for. Chapel that morning was emotional as guys talked about what they wanted to do. It kind of was organic. We got on the field, some guys kneeled, other guys locked arms, I locked arms. I also pointed to the sky because I really believe the Lord will really have to have his hand on us when it comes to reconciling our differences.”

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints quarterback (via NewOrleansSaints.com

“I disagree with what the President said and how he said it. I think it’s very unbecoming of the office of the President of the United States to talk like that, to degrade people like that, and obviously, he’s disappointed a lot of people. As far as the national anthem protest: I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again. … Let me say this first. Do I think that there’s inequality in this country? Yes, I do. Do I think that there’s racism? Yes, I do. Do I think that there’s inequality for women, women in the workplace? I think there’s inequality for people of color, minorities, for immigrants, but as it pertains to the national anthem, I will always feel that if you are an American, the national anthem is the opportunity for us all to stand up together, to be unified and to show respect for our country. To show respect for what it stands for, the birth of our nation. There will always be issues with our country, there will always be things that we’re battling, and we should all be striving to make those things better. But if the protest becomes that we’re going to sometimes kneel or not show respect to the flag of the United States of America, and everything that it symbolizes and everything that it stands for, and everything that our country has been through to get to this point, I do not agree with that. I feel like that is a unifying thing. The national anthem, standing for the national anthem with your hand over your heart is a unifying thing, it should bring us all together and say you know what, “Things are not what they should be, but we will continue to work and strive to make things better, to bring equality to all people, men, women, no matter what your race, creed, religion, it doesn’t matter. Equality for all, and if you’re an American, then I will always believe that we should be standing and showing respect to our flag with our hand over our heart.”

Thomas Davis, Panthers linebacker (via twitter

“Thx @mmelvinphoto 4 this pic of me praying during the national anthem, as I will keep doing. Prayer changes things & we must stick together!”

Lorenzo Alexander, Buffalo Bills linebacker (via twitter

“The guys that are taking a knee are trying to bring awareness to some social injustices that we have in this country. It doesn’t mean that they’re not patriots, doesn’t mean that they don’t love their country, we do. We great privileges here. But being a U.S. citizen, I also wanted to call and bring attention to things that need change. Today I kneeled, I won’t continue to kneel, but I just wanted to kneel to show those guys that I had their back, that I was with them. But I’m also with our military and with our country. I don’t think you can put us all in just a box and you have to draw a line. I have to be either for my country or for social justice. I think I can be for everything.”

Demario Davis, New York Jets linebacker (via instagram and the New York Post)

“This is why I am a proud NFL Player and and New York Jet. Men from many different backgrounds and cultures choose to stand United in the face of Adversity. From the Owner to the GM to the Coaches to the Players. 1 team 1 message. “Unity”. We may not have the solution to the problem but whatever that answer is we have to find it together. ‘Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity’ – Psalm 133:1 — Our country is having a lot of problems and a lot of us don’t know what the solution is. But whatever the solution is there has to be unity. That’s the message we wanted to send. It’s going to take all of us together to find the solutions to the problems. No matter what happens we’re going to work through it together. When you’re working together, nothing is impossible.”

Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker (via KansasCity.com

“I feel like people are complaining about kneeling and people are complaining about standing, but I feel like it’s pointless,” he said. “They’re not changing anything, and I feel like prayer changes everything. So I was praying before the game. Because I pray that we come together as one instead of being separate. You’ve got guys standing and kneeling. What are you kneeling for? What’s going to change? Prayer is power. So I believe if we pray together, the more we get together, we come together as one in prayer, we can make a change.”

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders quarterback (via MecuryNews.com

“Our team is like that on anything, and we all talked and we are all there for one another. We just wanted to show people we’re unified. Some guys sat, some guys stood, but we just wanted to make sure we showed we were together. Whether you agree or disagree from the outside looking in, you know, standing or sitting, the ultimate goal is for one brief second, we love one another.”

Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins quarterback (via Washington Post

“Each player’s going to do what they feel best or feel convicted to do, so it’s hard to tell somebody what they ought to do. I also thought it’s important to be on the same page and communicate so that there is a plan or an understanding of what we want to do as a team, for those that are wanting to do something together. I felt like standing is something that I always will want to do and wanted to do last night. Linking arms is a good way to just feel like, ‘Hey, a bunch of us will stand, some of us may kneel, we’re still going to try to see it from the other person’s perspective and have some form of understanding.’ There’s just a lot of division right now and I’d hate for division to cause more division, if you understand what I’m saying. I’d like for there to be ways to find common ground, and find unity, and I felt like that was a small, small way of trying to do that.”

Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia Eagles safety (via ESPN

“I know there are multiple guys that have been behind the scenes doing work. Hopefully we can continue to highlight that. Hopefully it’s not a one-week thing. The biggest thing now, when we have all these eyes on us as players, as a league, as teams … we have to be coordinated. We have to be solution-based. But I think, for those who wanted more understanding, who wanted the conversation to be something that would bring people together, I think we finally saw that. It’s about us all, as Americans, using our platforms to better our communities. And that’s something that we should be supporting. That’s something that’s truly American, that’s patriotic, and that should be celebrated.”

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks quarterback (via Seahawks periscope

“We all wanted to be on the same page. We believe in making a difference in our world, I think we show that everyday. I think the guys wanted to make a difference and where everybody could be unified on it. That was the main thing. The idea of being unified and everybody doing something together. We believe in love. We hate the injustice that is going on. The only way to fix it is to try and make movements and improvements. The racial tension that has been going on for hundreds of years. It is really showing up right now and we can’t ignore it. Ignoring it doesn’t do anything. Our football team believes in unity and making a difference in the world.”

Trey Burton, Eagles tight end (via twitter)

“More than ever we remain committed to advocacy 4 equality & social justice 4 all! @Eagles fans Join us in locking arms 4 unity in our city!”

NFL Players kneeing and Locking Arms at the game. Representing the struggle for justice in our nation.

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