The Cleveland Browns will join with police, firefighters and military members to make a statement about unity before Sunday’s season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Time Sports

Cleveland Browns players stood for the national anthem and locked arms with law enforcement and military personnel before Sunday’s season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Police officers, military personnel and firefighters also ran out of the Browns’ tunnel to cheers prior to the game.

A video featuring messages from players appealing for unity was also played before the anthem.

More than a dozen Browns players opted to kneel and pray during the anthem for their penultimate preseason game. A large group of Browns players stood arm-to arm the following week in the finale.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during the national anthem. Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who last week alleged that the Las Vegas police department racially profiled him and used excessive force in an Aug. 26 incident, also sat again as teammate Justin Britt put his hand on Bennett’s shoulder. Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett, Michael’s brother, stood during the anthem with his right hand raised in salute.

San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid chose to kneel during the anthem, as he did last year when he followed Colin Kaepernick’s lead in protesting police brutality and racial injustice. Several of Reid’s 49ers teammates stood with a hand on the safety during the anthem.

On Thursday, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters became the first player of the 2017 regular season to sit for the anthem during the opener against the New England Patriots.

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