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OU football: Baker Mayfield says he will stand for national anthem after previous commitment to kneeling

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Baker Mayfield

Former OU quarterback and Heisman winner Baker Mayfield throws up the OU hand sign during the game against Army Sept. 22, 2018.

Former Sooner and current Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield tweeted Saturday afternoon he plans to stand for the national anthem during the 2020 NFL season after previously saying he would kneel in support of racial justice.

Mayfield initially announced he planned to kneel during "The Star Spangled Banner" before Browns games this season in a response to a fan on Instagram on June 13.

Per his Saturday tweet, Mayfield was motivated to change his mind by Thursday night's game between Kansas City and Houston. Prior to the contest, players from both teams demonstrated against racial injustice during the playing of the national anthem and "Lift Every Voice and Sing," a song often referred to as the "Black national anthem."

Another factor in Mayfield's decision was the Miami Dolphins' Friday video announcement that they plan to stay in the locker room during the anthem this season. 

"After watching Thursday's game and also watching the Dolphins players' video, it shows that it is not about who is standing or who is kneeling for the anthem," Mayfield tweeted, "But instead, coming together and taking action to create real change.

"Also, after reading many letters and messages over the past few weeks, I have been (shown) that a gesture such as kneeling will only create more division or discussion about the gesture, rather than be a solution (toward) our country's problem at hand. With that being said, I am choosing to stand for both anthems to show respect, love and unity to everybody involved."

Mayfield is entering his third season with Cleveland after the team drafted him No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. He threw for 4,627 and 43 touchdowns with the Sooners in 2017 while winning the Heisman Trophy.

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Mason Young is a journalism sophomore and The Daily's assistant sports editor. He covers OU football and previously covered OU women's gym, OU wrestling and former Sooners in the NFL. He has also spent some time as a senior news reporter for The Daily.

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