Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen has been kneeling at the end of the national anthem for years, an act he felt compelled to explain after he was shown doing so on television before Sunday’s game against the Texans.
Allen said in a video on the Colts’ website that NBC “misreported” that he took a knee in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick’s recent national anthem protest, when actually he has been kneeling to pray near the end of the anthem for his entire career.
“For every game of my career, I have taken a knee toward the end of our anthem to say a prayer for every man that steps on the field,” Allen said. “Because of recent events, I explain to you why I’m kneeling on the field. After reviewing some of the comments over the social media platforms, I realize sometimes a few will spoil the bunch. It was a vast majority that was expressing words of hate. Not love. Not devotion. And not pride for our great nation. What I want most is for this world to be a better place for everyone who lives in it, for this country to be a better America for everyone that lives in it.”
The video included screenshots of some of the tweets Allen received in response to his being shown kneeling. One user called him “a total disgrace to America.” Another said, “only a glory seeking punk brings his politics to the stadium,” and another suggested he should join ISIS.
Despite the backlash, Allen said he will continue to kneel for his prayer at the end of the anthem.