This Browns TE discussing Monday's national anthem prayer circle - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

This Browns TE discussing Monday's national anthem prayer circle is turning a few heads

Several Cleveland Browns players knelt and prayed during the National Anthem prior to Monday's preseason game against the Giants. (Photo credit: Jon Ridinger) Several Cleveland Browns players knelt and prayed during the National Anthem prior to Monday's preseason game against the Giants. (Photo credit: Jon Ridinger)
CLEVELAND, OH (FOX19/WOIO) -

A group of Cleveland Browns players knelt and prayed during the national anthem prior to Monday night’s preseason game against the Giants.

The protest included Duke Johnson, Kenny Britt, Jamie Collins and Ricardo Louis. Additional players, including DeShone Kizer and Britton Colquitt, placed their hands on their teammates’ shoulders in what appeared to be an act of solidarity.

After the game, here's what tight end Seth DeValve had to say about the prayer circle:

"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," said Browns spokesman Dan Murphy. "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."

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett recently stayed seated during the playing of the anthem to protest the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Marshawn Lynch has also recently taken a knee. 

Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the National Anthem this past season to draw attention to police-related shootings and social issues, has been unable to find a quarterback job since opting out of his contract with San Francisco in the off-season. Sports analysts have speculated NFL teams have avoided signing Kaepernick to dodge potential controversy, but it appears the protests aren't going away especially as more players join the initiative. 

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