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Browns to decide as team how to approach national anthem

Browns, Kevin Stefanski

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski is not sure how his team will approach the national anthem heading into next season, but one thing is for sure: He is behind his players.

While Stefanski, who is entering his first season as Browns head coach, said he doesn’t know how things will play out on game day, he wants his players to know that will support whatever decision they make. He said as much on a Zoom call with the media on Wednesday, per Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer:

“I am just so keen on dialogue with our players and listening. My big note to our players is that I have their back, and that’s not just lip service. I’m standing right there beside them. They have my support, and I promise you one thing: we will just continue to listen to each other from a place of mutual respect.”

Back in 2016, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused controversy when he decided to kneel during the national anthem before games. Since then, some other players have followed suit.

Stefanski also wants to make sure everyone is on the same wavelength:

“My position is I want to make sure I support our players … First things first, I want to make sure I sit down with them and talk. We have started the process in that dialogue, but I can’t speak necessarily to the future in that regard. I can just promise you this: we’ll spend as much time as needed to make sure that we’re all on the same page and we’re a united front from a player, staff, you name it [standpoint].”

Stefanski added that he wants his guys “to know the impact that they can have.”

The Browns went 6-10 this past season, resulting in the firing of head coach Freddie Kitchens after just one year.