Colts, Browns protest Trump's comments

Sep 25, 2017 - 2:24 AM INDIANAPOLIS -- For the most part, Indiana is a Republican state, one that voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in the November election.

While some fans booed loudly Sunday when members of the Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns protested Trump's recent criticism of NFL players by either locking arms during the national anthem or kneeling, it was evident each team was sending a strong message to the President, who referred to some players' actions as those of a "son of a bitch."

Cleveland rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who passed for 242 yards and two touchdowns in the Browns' 31-28 loss to the Colts in Lucas Oil Stadium, voiced his strong opinion of what Trump said.

"I'm no son of a bitch, and it's a tragedy that we're still having these conversations," Kizer said.

Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said he and his team discussed how they would react during the national anthem to what Trump said.

"Like everybody else, we had a discussion about it," Pagano said. "I'm really proud of our guys, and I'm proud of our football team. I'm proud of their commitment and their compassion for this game, for the (Colts) Horseshoe, not only on the field but off the field and what they do in their communities.

"Football is a great unifier. It brings people together. It is the greatest team sport in the world. It has been and always will be, and football is an opportunity for a bunch of people from all walks of life to come together and root and cheer for their team and commiserate together when your team isn't doing so well. We wanted to be together on this thing, and this is a united football team."

On Friday, Colts' owner Jim Irsay issued a blistering statement in reaction to Trump's comments against professional athletes -- especially NFL players -- who opt to voice protest.

"I am troubled by the President's recent comments about our league and our players," Irsay said. "Sports in America have the unique ability to bring people from all walks of life and from different points of view together to work toward or root for a common goal, and the Indianapolis Colts are proud to be a part of that tradition in our home city and state.

"The vast majority of players in the NFL -- especially those who have worn and continue to wear the Horseshoe -- have donated millions of dollars to charities, raised money for those affected by recent hurricanes, created charitable foundations, visited schools, mentored students, worked in homeless shelters, cleaned up parks, and put in hours of their personal time toward improving their communities and lives of those around them."

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