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Detroit Lions will support all players’ decisions during national anthem

The Lions released a statement Saturday night backing their players no matter what

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

In the wake of a summer filled with tragedy and protest, the NFL is taking a step in the direction of supporting its players protesting and speaking out based on their beliefs. After the way some fans reacted in Kansas City Thursday night, more attention has been placed on the National Anthem and how teams will individually handle it.

On the eve of the Lions’ season opener against the Bears, the team released a statement on Twitter about their plans for the anthem.

In a move that should come as no surprise after team owner Sheila Ford Hamp’s comments supporting peaceful protests, and the team’s recent “We Won’t Be Silent” campaign, the Lions are behind their players no matter what they do.

“We support everyone’s right to stand, kneel or remain in the locker room during the anthem,” the statement read.

Some players, such as running back Adrian Peterson, have already conveyed their plan to kneel on Sunday during the anthem. He certainly won’t be alone. Whether players stand, kneel or remain in the locker room, they have been quite united as a team on this front.

Here’s the full statement:

“Throughout the past five months, we as a team have listened, learned, and grown as people. We have continued a conversation that has allowed our players and coaches to be heard, understood, and supported. Our conversations have been conducted with passion, respect, and love.

As we begin our season, we understand many eyes will be on the playing of the national anthem. For this moment we should all reflect on the lessons that the game of football teaches. This game shows how a team comprised of individuals from all different backgrounds and belief systems can come together to love each other, support each other, and care for each other; that a team can be different and still strongly united.

We support everyone’s right to stand, kneel, or remain in the locker room during the anthem. We support and respect the ideals of our teammates. Unity does not always mean doing the same thing. Unity is understanding, listening, loving, and supporting those around you. Unity is recognizing others have experienced life through a different lens than your own. Unity is understanding that change is needed.

We are proud of our Team. We will keep listening. We are united.”