BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Some tense moments at Sunday’s Ravens versus Steelers matchup, before the actual game began.
The country continues to grapple with whether NFL players should protest during the national anthem — and if the president should have a say in it.
After more than a week of tension among President Trump, the NFL, and fans, many who came here were paying close attention to what would happen on the field before the first play.
Along with purple, some fans came to Sunday’s home game, wearing red, white and blue.
The color clash matching the nationwide conversation. Fans don’t all agree on whether recent protests are appropriate.
The crowd booed, as members of the team, linked arms and took to their knees to pray.
Before the anthem, the PA announcer said that the Ravens organization asked the crowd to join them “to pray, that we as a nation embrace kindness, unity, equality, and justice for all Americans.”
The Ravens then stood for the national anthem itself. However, fans had a lot say after the game.
“I think there was a little tension. There was some booing going on,” says one fan.
“We love our team no matter what, but thankfully nobody kneeled today or I probably wouldn’t be coming back,” says another fan.
The sound of fighter jets above the stadium was no match for the chants from fans, who have been fuming since some ravens took a knee in protest during the London game.
They have even been calling for the removal of Ray Lewis’ statue because he joined in.
In an interview with WJZ, Lewis and his mother explained he was on his knees to pray for the players and the country.
“All of these brothers that’s playing across the league. You’acrossto look at the league. What we do,” he said to WJZ’s Jessica Kartalija.
The widespread protest has been in response to President Trump’s criticism of players, following the lead of Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee to protest racial inequality during his tenure with the NFL.
Some believe Kaepernick’s message needs to be at the forefront.
“I understand that they feel like it’s being disrespectful to the troops, however, they are taking a knee.
I have two sons. Yes. They’re taking a knee for my sons.”
A recent CBS News poll said that more than half of Americans disagree with the national anthem protests. And most disapprove of President Trump’s comments on it.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and commissioner Roger Goodell, previously issued statements supporting the players.