Kelly Stafford: ‘Let’s stand united’ during anthem

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is taking a stand against players kneeling for the national anthem.

As a growing number of NFL players are following the lead to former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and using the anthem as a forum of silent protest against racial inequality, Kelly Stafford took to Instagram to share her thoughts on the issue.

“I’ve been hesitant to talk about this, as I know I will get backlash from it… but I believe we can stand and show our unity against everything that doesn’t represent what this flag stands for,” Stafford wrote. “Let’s stand united against terrorists, against racism, against white supremacists, against killing of cops, against police brutality, against sex slave trafficking... against anything that is not the ideal for this country.

“Let’s unite in the fact that God made us all unique and different and that is something we should cherish,” she continued. “You can disagree with me and that is totally ok.. let’s use this forum to discuss (not yell at each other) and listen to one another.”

Niyo: It isn’t easy for NFL players to take a stand

Stafford presents her position in a non-combative way, and even puts out a call to action for her followers to respectfully discuss her opinion in the comments.

Three hours later, after reading some of the reaction on her initial post, she posted a follow-up message on Instagram.

"I truly meant no disrespect with my last post," Stafford wrote. "If you know me personally, you know I love (mostly) everyone and I try to be as open as possible! I want us all to be united and I think that takes putting opinions out there, hearing them, and discussing whether agreeing or not... I believe that's what inspires change. There are many comments that have truly opened my eyes to things I did not think about or know. I hope the posts and discussions keep happening."

Earlier this week, 11 Cleveland Browns players took a knee during the anthem, including former Michigan standout Jabrill Peppers.

With the current political climate demanding hardline stances on nearly every topic, NFL players using the anthem as a vehicle of protest has been a divisive issue. One side argues the protests are inherently American, while the other side contends the act is disrespectful to the country and military.

To this point, no Lions players have protested during the anthem.