Owner Steve Bisciotti Issues Statement Supporting Ravens' Peaceful Anthem Protest


Ravens players and coaches made individual choices on whether to protest during the playing of the national anthem Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Many players were kneeling, some stood with their arms interlocked, and some players remained seated on the bench.

Owner Steve Bisciotti issued a statement supporting every person's right to make their own choice.

"We respect and support our players' right to protest peacefully," Bisciotti said. "This was a demonstration for justice and equality for all Americans. These are core values we can all support."

"This was not a protest against our country, the military or the flag. Our players remain dedicated to uplifting their communities and making America better. They have proven this through substantive action. They are committed to using their platform to drive positive change, and we support their efforts."

The entire Ravens roster remained on the field, standing with locked arms, during a pregame rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" while the Browns remained in the locker room.

Harbaugh said Friday that the decision of every player, whether they protested or not, would be respected by the organization.

"Our position is really the same as it has always been," Harbaugh said. "We treat one another with respect. We respect one another's opinions. We support one another, that's what a team does. We encourage our players to be who they are. Our guys are encouraged to do what's on their conscience and in their heart, not to please anybody outside, not to be concerned with what anybody else's opinion is, but to do what expresses how you feel. I'm not going to impose upon anybody how they want to express their feelings on anything. So, that's the way we'll do it.

"Just an unspoken message about what a team is all about; that we believe in one another, we support one another, we respect one another and that we're together. I hope our country can do it just like a football team does, in that sense."

Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell, the reigning NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, has been extremely involved with community efforts throughout his career, giving back in his hometown of Denver and partnering with the Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and now the Ravens to help the communities they represent. Campbell's family spent time in a homeless shelter when he was growing up. Becoming an NFL star has done nothing to make Campbell forget that so many others are less fortunate. He knows that many NFL players are just as connected to their communities and share his concerns.

"A lot of players on this team our really passionate about the community, our backgrounds and where we come from," Campbell said. "Most of the guys wanted to protest against the injustice in our communities. I saw Steve Bisciotti put out a message and it's very clear. We're not protesting the flag, we're not protesting America. This is just an opportunity for us to use this platform to try and affect change in the communities."

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