A popular topic around the NFL this year has been the silent protest of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others in protesting racial injustice and police violence by taking a knee during the national anthem.
So far, we hadn’t seen any Colts players do so, but before today’s game against the San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie took a knee for the national anthem.
Antonio Cromartie takes a knee during the national anthem here at Lucas Oil Stadium. That's the first protest from the Colts this year.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) September 25, 2016
Colts cornerback Darius Butler raised his fist in the air during the anthem, like some players have been doing throughout the league. Also, some people say they saw tight end Dwayne Allen take a knee too, though there seems to be some dispute about that one.
Just saw @13sportsindy video from inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Injured CB Darius Butler also seen raising a fist during National Anthem.— Jason Spells (@JasonSpells) September 25, 2016
For what it's worth, Allen took a knee during anthem, possibly in prayer. #Colts— Chris Widlic (@Chris_Widlic) September 25, 2016
It’s the first time we’ve seen a Colts player kneeling for the national anthem, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen an Indianapolis team do so, as earlier this week the entire Indiana Fever team took a knee for the national anthem.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano addressed the issue a few weeks ago, saying that he would support a player’s right to take a knee if he choose to.
"We live in a great country and part of living in this country is we get to choose," Pagano said earlier this month. "I’m grateful for all the men and women who have fought and gave their lives and continue to give their lives for that freedom. I had a great opportunity this past year and two years ago to travel the world with some ball players and with the military and there’s not one day that I take for granted and none of us should take for granted because in six and a half days we went around the world in a C-17 and it just made for greater appreciation for what we have and the freedom that we enjoy. Again, living in this country, we get to choose and we’re all grateful for that."