The name Seth DeValve may not have a rang a bell before, but today he is making headlines as the first white NFL player to join in the controversial national anthem protest.
The Cleveland Browns’ second-string tight end joined a group of his black teammates kneeling in a circle as the “Star-Spangled Banner,” filled the stadium.
"The United States is the greatest country in the world," said the 24-year-old athlete after the Browns' preseason win over the Giants.
"It is because it provides opportunities to its citizens that no other country does," he continued. "The issue is that it doesn't provide equal opportunity to everybody. And I wanted to support my African-American teammates today who wanted to take a knee. We wanted to draw attention to the fact that there's (sic) things in the country that still need to change.”
"We took the opportunity to pray for our country and for the men and women in this country during that time," he added.
While DeValve may be white, he is personally invested in racial equality as he is married to a black woman.
"I myself will be raising children that don't look like me," said DeValve of his future mixed-race children. “I want to do my part as well to do everything I can to raise them in a better environment than we have right now.”
Although DeValve is the first white player to kneel, other white players have shown support to their black teammates by standing and placing their arms around them while they kneel, according to the New York Daily News. Among them are Browns punter Britton Colquitt, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long, and Seattle Seahawks center Justin Britt.
This show of solidarity speaks volumes as players continue to join the movement despite being heavily criticized for participating, and its spearhead, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has been blackballed by the league.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Kegger