Indianapolis Colts coach kneels during anthem: 'White leaders really have an opportunity to step up'

Indianapolis Colts coach kneels during anthem: 'White leaders really have an opportunity to step up'
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Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday before his team's season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, with the former NFL quarterback later saying "white leaders really have an opportunity to step up" on the issue of social injustice.

"We thought it was a unique way to express what needs to be done, where someone like myself, a white leader, would kneel, not out of defiance but out of humility," Reich told reporters after the Colts 27-20 loss in Jacksonville, Fla. "We can’t leave things the way they are."

“It takes all of us, everybody, but certainly white leaders really have an opportunity to step up and make a big change as far as systemic racism is concerned," he added.

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Reich's players, who are predominantly Black, stood for the anthem with arms locked.

Almost three years ago, Vice President Pence left a game between the Colts and the San Francisco 49ers after some players knelt during the national anthem. 

"I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem," Pence later wrote on Twitter.

A Harris poll released last week found nearly 40 percent of respondents said they were watching less professional basketball because the NBA "has become too political."

The NFL kicked off its season Thursday, with 19.6 million people tuning in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the Houston Texans, a 13 percent drop from last year's season opener between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.