On Saturday, Baker Mayfield said that he will “absolutely” kneel for the national anthem before Cleveland Browns games.
Then, the same night, former long snapper Nate Boyer, who advised Colin Kaepernick to kneel in 2016, tweeted his support for Mayfield:
— Nate Boyer (@NateBoyer37) June 13, 2020
Boyer, a United States Army Green Beret, played football for the Texas Longhorns.
He made the team as a walk-on and was First-Team Academic All-Big 12 Conference for three consecutive years.
Boyer also won the 2012-13 Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year.
He was the first winner of the Armed Forces Merit Award in the history of the award.
After graduating with a physical culture and sports degree, he went undrafted in the 2015 NFL Draft and was scouted by some teams, including the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks then signed Boyer as a free agent, but he did not play in an NFL game.
How did Boyer Advise Kaepernick to Kneel for the National Anthem?
In a 2018 interview with NPR, Boyer said that he was upset when he saw that Kaepernick was seen sitting on the bench during the 2016 NFL preseason.
Boyer went on to detail how Kaepernick reached out to him.
They sat in the lobby of the hotel where the 49ers were staying and discussed the situation.
Boyer suggested that Kaepernick kneel instead of sit on the bench.
Kaepernick went on to play 12 games for the 49ers in 2016, and his team struggled.
Although he threw for 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions, the 49ers finished the season 2-14 under Chip Kelly.
Just four years off a Super Bowl appearance, Kaepernick would play what could be the last football season of his NFL career.
Kaepernick’s fame reached new heights for kneeling, and some have argued that the NFL conspired to not have him signed by any of the league’s 32 teams.
In 2019, the NFL reached a financial settlement with Kaepernick regarding the situation.
Mayfield is Showing How Well He Will Lead the Browns in the Upcoming Season
Mayfield responded to a fan on Instagram, and this decision has already resonated with teammate Mack Wilson:
We w/ you. ❤️ https://t.co/pvfU9eIcKS
— Mack Wilson (@5mackwilson1) June 14, 2020
Wilson is a second-year Browns linebacker, and his support of Mayfield should go a long way.
In the past, the Browns seemed to have communication problems, as they struggled to the tune of a 6-10 record in 2019.
With the 2020 season on the horizon, Cleveland is ready to right the ship.
As the team leader, Mayfield knows that his actions are often under the most scrutiny.
During the offseason, he has made strides to improve his game.
His offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt says that Mayfield is doing “everything he can.”
He has attempted to improve his mechanics by using golf technology.
Mayfield knows that starting strong will be very important for the Browns this season.
After being ranked No. 50 in the NFL Top 100 in early 2019, he had a sophomore slump.
If Mayfield’s third NFL season can be like his rookie season, then the Browns will be moving in the right direction.
The Browns have provided more weapons for the Oklahoma quarterback, and they hope that the new offensive line will be the perfect way to usher Cleveland into the postseason.