LONDON - The New Orleans Saints will kneel before the national anthem of Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins in a show of solidarity, then stand for the playing of the song, quarterback Drew Brees posted on his Twitter account on Friday morning.
The Dallas Cowboys first took the step on Monday night, kneeling to acknowledge the protest against racial inequality first begun by Colin Kaepernick and then standing for the national anthem.
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After President Donald Trump said any player who kneeled during the anthem was "a son of a bitch" last week and called for owners to fire those players, 10 Saints sat during the anthem to protest racial inequality, police brutality and what they believed was an attack on their right to free speech.
Brees, defensive end Cameron Jordan and other team leaders have been searching for a way to demonstrate as a unified group this week.
Brees has said he believes every American should always stand for the national anthem. Jordan, running back Mark Ingram, left tackle Terron Armstead and safety Kenny Vaccaro, among others, have stressed they are not protesting the anthem itself and expressed support for the United States military, but said they felt compelled to sit to protest racial inequality.
The two sides of the aisle were able to come to an agreement.
"Yeah, I’m good with it," Vaccaro said. "I think it’s a good combination of showing unity and also paying tribute to the actual reason why everybody’s taking a knee. It has nothing to do with disrespecting the flag, disrespecting the military. ... But it's going to be good, it's going to be nice."
The move was met with approval from Saints owner Tom Benson and Gov. John Bel Edwards, who released a statement on Friday.
"Throughout the week, I have been in contact with the Saints leadership and have been kept up to date about the ongoing conversations among members of the team. I understand they have been looking for a way to show unity while also acknowledging the original intent behind their protest - one that doesn’t involve the flag or our national anthem. I know the Saints have put a great deal of thought into this. I applaud their decision and appreciate the leadership of the organization and team captains. I welcome the opportunity to further discuss the issues raised by Saints team members and am committed moving forward together."
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