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Browns release statement after players’ national anthem protest

New York Giants v Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 21: A group of Cleveland Browns players kneel in a circle in protest during the national anthem prior to a preseason game against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 21, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

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The Browns released a statement at halftime after at least 11 players knelt during the national anthem:

“As an organization, we have a profound respect for our country’s National Anthem, flag and the servicemen and servicewomen in the United States and abroad. We feel it’s important for our team to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country including the freedom of personal expression.”

Jamie Collins, Seth DeValve, Duke Johnson, Kenny Britt, Ricardo Louis, Terrence Magee, Calvin Pryor, Jamar Taylor, Isaiah Crowell, Jabrill Peppers and Christian Kirksey were players who took a knee during the anthem, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.