Jacksonville Jaguars: Team president apologizes for anthem display

By The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 17, 2017 at 2:49 PM
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Jaguars president Mark Lamping has apologized to the city of Jacksonville's director of military affairs chief for the decision of several players to kneel during the national anthem prior to the team's game in London on Sept. 24.

Lamping wrote in a letter sent to Bill Span, the city's director of military affairs and veterans department, that the organization did not fully consider the emotions resulting in the decision to kneel for the national anthem.

The Jaguars' players who knelt prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens were Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler. The Jaguars' entire team stood for "God Save The Queen."

Spann forwarded the letter to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on Monday afternoon. Curry, who attended the game at Wembley Stadium, had released a statement on Sept. 26 that referenced the players' decision to kneel during the anthem as "stupid."

Lamping offered the following apology:

"It bears repeating that we were in remiss in not fully comprehending the effect of the national anthem demonstration occurring on foreign soil has had on the men and women who have or continue to serve our country. Similarly, we today can better appreciate how standing for 'God Save The Queen' may have been viewed negatively by our armed forces here in Jacksonville and beyond.

"As covered during our conversation on Thursday, this was an oversight and certainly not intended to send a message that would disparage you, our flag or our nation. The notion never entered the minds of our players or anyone affiliated with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but today we can understand how the events in London on September 24 could have been viewed or misinterpreted. We owe you an apology and hope you will accept it."

Curry, who is a known Jaguars fan, said that the team's players have the right against standing during the anthem, but believes they should.

"I stand and cover my heart for the pledge and the anthem," Curry's statement read. "I think it's stupid to do otherwise. The U.S. Constitution protects the right for a lot of people to do a lot of stupid things. I am a Constitutional Conservative, so I respect the wisdom of our Founders."

The Jaguars' game in London was two days removed from President Donald Trump's comments during a political rally in Huntsville, Ala. Trump said players that do not stand for the national anthem should be fired.

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