Jacksonville Jaguars release statement after NFL protests

by: Danae Leake, Action News Jax Updated:

The Jacksonville Jaguars released a statement Saturday following the last week's round of NFL protests wherein players took a knee during the national anthem.

The Jaguars said that while they respect the United States flag and national anthem, they wanted to shed light on issues of inequality going on in the country. 

The Jaguars were one of several National Football League team that participated in the protest, including the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

They said the protest that players took part in during last Sunday's game in London was not intended to disrespect the military, first responders and the anthem.


 Jaguars face fan backlash over National Anthem protests


"We love and respect everyone who serves and has made sacrifices for the United States in the past, today and the future. That is especially true in our hometown of Jacksonville, Florida," according to the statement. 

The display has stirred up reaction in Jacksonville fans. Some of them recorded themselves burning their team shirts

The Jaguars said they will kneel before the anthem and then stand during the national anthem for Sunday's game.

Read the full statement from the Jacksonville Jaguars:

The United States flag and our national anthem are both strong sources of inspiration and unity.  Our respect for both is sincere.  Given recent events and remarks, however, we felt it was time last weekend to shine a light on the serious issues of inequality and social injustice that exist in our country. 

We want to make it clear that we never intended in any way to show disrespect towards the U.S. military community, first responders, our flag, or our national anthem.  We love and respect everyone who serves and has made sacrifices for the United States in the past, today and the future.  That is especially true in our hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.
 
We are a very diverse group, much like our country as a whole.  So we may not see eye to eye on everything, but we will be a team undivided.  We will play to win and represent Jacksonville with honor, and we are committed to furthering the conversation and taking action to effect positive change. 

In that spirit, the Jacksonville Jaguars – every one of us – prior to the national anthem on Sunday will kneel to pray for change, progress and equality for everyone who calls the United States their home.  We hope others will pray along with us.  We are all in this together.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will then stand together, as a team, tomorrow and going forward, to honor our flag and our national anthem.

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