Protesters across the U.S. met outside NFL stadiums over the weekend to protest police brutality and show support for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In Cleveland, they used it as an opportunity to show support for the Browns ahead of their season opener.
A small group took a knee by the iconic “FREE” stamp in Willard Park. It was a symbolic gesture after a dozen Browns players knelt during the national anthem before a preseason game against the New York Giants.
A number of police unions from around northeast Ohio responded by opting out of Sunday's pregame ceremony at First Energy stadium. Westpark resident Andradia Scovil said that response doesn’t add up.
“If you look at it like a mathematical equation, they’re saying they are protesting anti-police brutality, which to me doesn’t make much sense," Scovil said.
Kaepernick is now a free agent. The NFL has said his lack of a job has to do with his abilities as a player, not because he sat during the national anthem to protest police brutality. Scovil said Kapernick’s stats speak for themselves.
“My undergrad’s in accounting and I know quantitative analysis and statistics from my master’s," Scovil said. "There’s no way that looking at the facts, they can say he isn’t better than several others who are starting right now.”
Similar protests were scheduled in more than 20 other cities.