Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown says he would never kneel during the national anthem.
The 82-year-old Brown, who championed civil rights during his NFL career and became a social activist in retirement, said Tuesday night that he respects players’ rights to do what they want but his preference is they would stand during the “Star Spangled Banner.”
“I’ll never kneel and I will always respect the flag,” said Brown, who spoke before an HBO premiere of “Hard Knocks,” which is chronicling the Browns in training camp.
Protests during the anthem have enveloped the league over the past two seasons, beginning when former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest social injustice.
The NFL modified its anthem protocol in May, prohibiting demonstrations for 2018, but allowing players to remain in the locker room during the anthem.
The players’ union filed a grievance, and the change has been tabled while the NFL and NFLPA work on a resolution.