Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield says it's important that white athletes also join the Black Lives Matter movements and speak against racism and social injustice. Mayfield, who is aiming to have a bounce back campaign in 2020, has already vowed to kneel during the national anthem to protest against racism and inequality.
"That just shows that you're in it with them. It's not a separated or it's not a one-sided movement," Mayfield said, per ESPN. "I can't put myself in their shoes for some of the inequalities that they have gone through and some of the things they have gone through, but I am trying to do the best I can by hearing their stories and sharing that.
That's the best part about it is hearing their stories so I can really start to feel their frustration and anger and push forward with them because that is what it's about. It is about all trying to create change together and be that solution."
Mayfield says they really mean it
Mayfield, the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL draft, says his team isn't chasing attentions or whatsoever as their goal is to send a strong statement against racism. "We do not just want to make a statement just to make a statement," Mayfield said over the Zoom call.
"It's not a PR stunt. It's something that we have truly had deep discussions about how to create that change and how we are going to do it step-by-step. That's something I'm passionate about. I've always believed when you can put stuff aside in the locker room, it's how the world should work.
You put every difference aside, every background, where you come from, shape, size and color and you put that all to the side, and you work towards the same goal. When it comes to real life, that's just human rights. It's an equal rights issue.
"I wanted my guys to know that. They do, but making a statement as the leader of this team is very important." Meanwhile, the Browns entered the last season as one of the contenders for the Super Bowl but they disappointingly failed to even reach the playoffs.
The Browns went 6-10 last year and Mayfield received a lot of criticism following the team's poor season. Mayfield has said several times this offseason he wants to have a big 2020 season and prove the doubters wrong.