*Players from both sidelines made news for dropping to their knees during Monday night’s preseason game between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants.
Several Browns players took a knee in prayer during the national anthem, and Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was caught on camera kneeling in pain while headed to the locker room following an injury.
The Browns players who took a knee were tight end Seth DeValve (who became the first known white NFL player to take a knee during the national anthem), running backs Duke Johnson Jr. and Terrence Magee, safeties Jabrill Peppers and Calvin Pryor, cornerback Jamar Taylor, receivers Kenny Britt and Ricardo Louis, linebackers Christian Kirksey and Jamie Collins, and running backs Isaiah Crowell and Brandon Wilds (who were not in uniform).
“There’s a lot of racial and social injustices in the world that are going on right now,” said rookie Peppers after the Browns’ 10-6 win – the team’s second in two preseason games. “We just decided to take a knee and pray for the people who have been affected and just pray for the world in general.”
DeValve said recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, had a lot to do with the decision. Also, his wife, Erica, is African-American.
“I myself will be raising children that don’t look like me, and 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,” DeValve said. “So I wanted to take the opportunity with my teammates during the anthem to pray for our country and also to draw attention to the fact that we have work to do.”
Minutes later during the first half, Beckham Jr. sprained his left ankle after catching an 18-yard pass from Eli Manning and being undercut by Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who drove his shoulder and helmet into the receiver’s left leg. Beckham’s legs flipped into the air and he banged his head hard on the turf. Beckham was visibly upset by what he thought was an unnecessary shot for a preseason game, and glared at Boddy-Calhoun as he limped off the field.
ESPN cameras later captured Beckham in pain as he attempted to walk to the team’s locker room, kneeling on the ground in the bowels of the stadium for nearly a minute before medical personnel hurried to his aid.
Watch the entire sequence of events – from injury to locker room – below:
The Giants (0-2) said Beckham only suffered a sprain, but the team will have further medical tests conducted Tuesday.
“It feels like a sprained ankle, a rolled ankle,” Beckham said. “It feels like you know you hurt your ankle. That’s how it feels.”