BEREA, Ohio— Thousands of miles away from the shores of Lake Erie, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made the decision to sit during the National Anthem.
The decision was one that has made waves throughout the United States of America and on Tuesday, its ripples finally reached Cleveland.
A pair of prominent Browns players were asked about the issue and each had a different thought.
Robert Griffin III was succinct in his response.
“My job isn’t to judge what another man feels about anything,” Griffin said. “That’s where I stand with that.”
Josh Gordon was much more outwardly supportive than Griffin.
“That’s great that he did that,” Gordon said. “He needed to voice his opinion and felt as though he needed to have his voice heard.”
Though Gordon supported his friend’s decision, he didn’t necessarily agree or disagree with what the stance represents. The support was more for than action than the reason behind it.
“I’ve got no opinion on that, because that’s his opinion,” Gordon said. “That’s his right to do so as an American citizen.”
The issue, of course, goes beyond the thoughts from both Griffin and Gordon, as each has viewed the situation from separate viewpoints and circumstances.
Griffin is the son of military parents, each of whom served in the military for over 10 years. Gordon, on the other hand, considers Kaepernick to be a good friend, which may alter his views on the specific nature of the argument.
No matter their opinions, or lack thereof, each believes in the ability of an athlete to adequately provide a view on issues they deem relevant.
Each wants athletes to use their stage appropriately in helping to shed a light on social issues, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll see Griffin doing anything such as sitting during the National Anthem any time soon.
"I think you definitely have to bring a spotlight to issues that you feel are pertinent to society,” Griffin said. “If there's any social issues that I feel like I need to address, then I'll address them in my own way.”
Like Griffin, Gordon hasn’t planned any demonstrations just yet, especially to shed light on the same issue as Kaepernick.
“Once one person does it, it doesn’t need to be done again,” Gordon said. “I feel as though the point’s gotten across.”
Gordon has kept up on the national stories regarding Kaepernick, including the opinions of reporters, columnists, athletes and the like.
For instance, he knows that Cleveland's legendary running back Jim Brown came out in general support of the quarterback on NFL Network Monday night.
"He’s within his rights and he’s telling the truth as he sees it," Brown said. "I am with him 100 percent."
The receiver knows too that many people have burned Kaepernick's jersey in opposition to his decision. No matter their viewpoint, Gordon believes that his friend is acting from a place in his heart, not from a place of hate.
“That’s up to individual people,” Gordon said. “A lot of people are reading it a different way, but I’m sure Kap didn’t mean anything negatively about it at all. He’s a great guy.”
For all of your Browns news and updates from Berea, follow Hayden Grove on Twitter: @H_Grovenull