While a majority of Ravens players and coaches knelt for the national anthem before their Week 1 contest against the Cleveland Browns, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti released a statement expressing his support for their right to protest.
Bisciotti also stood with the team in the end zone before the game while “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was played at M&T Bank Stadium.
Running back Mark Ingram II and defensive end Calais Campbell were among the Ravens’ players to kneel during the anthem. On the opposite side of the field, most Browns players stood except defensive end Myles Garrett, safety Ronnie Harrison and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge.
Before the game, Campbell spoke with CBS pregame show host Nate Burleson about his reasoning behind taking a knee.
“I understand that some people have strong feelings towards the flag and I do, I consider myself a patriot,” Campbell said. “The national anthem means a lot to me but when I protest during it, it’s not out of disrespect. It’s just to bring awareness and to try to make something happen that’s going to save lives.”