It has been a year since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustice. Kaepernick is now a free agent and it's unclear if he'll get another opportunity to play in the NFL, but other players continue to protest, including the Raiders' Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks' Michael Bennett.
And while Lynch did talk to coach Jack Del Rio, however), . "I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message … of how unselfish you can be as a society," he said. "How we can continuously love one another and understand that people are different, and just because they're different, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't like them. Because they don't smell the way you smell and they don't eat what you eat, because they don't pray to the same god that you pray to, doesn't mean that you should hate them. Whether it's Muslim or Buddhists or Christianity, whatever it is, I just want people to understand that no matter what, we're in this thing together. It's more about being a human being at this point."(he
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he "didn't know until afterwards" that Bennett sat through the national anthem, and NFL coaches in general have been hesitant to weigh in on the controversy.
"I think everybody has a right to do, and I get it, but the national anthem means a lot to myself personally, the organization and our football team," Jackson said, via Cleveland.com. "I hope -- again I can't speak, I haven't really talked to our team about it -- I would hope that we don't have those issues."
Instead, Jackson would prefer to address the issues privately.
"I understand there is a lot going on in the world. I like to just keep it here. What we deal with, we try to deal with as a team in our closed environment. We talk about things," Jackson continued. "Hopefully, that won't happen. I can't tell you it won't happen, but I just know our guys, and I don't think that is where our focus is. We hope the things that are going on in the world get ironed out, but I know right now we are doing everything we can to get our football team better."
Getting better includes identifying a starting quarterback. Rookie DeShone Kizer played well in his preseason debut, but Jackson warned against getting too far ahead of ourselves after a few snaps.
"I think it's way too early to talk about that," Jackson said Thursday after the Browns' preseason game against the Saints. "Let's see it for what it was: The guy made some plays at the end to give us a chance to win, but there's still things he needs to do better. I'm sure he's the first to tell there's so many things to clean up. He's got a lot of work to do, but a night like tonight will give him confidence."