Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was fairly adamant over this offseason that he would be kneeling during the national anthem this upcoming season in protest against systematic injustice and police brutality in America. He told a fan on Instagram that he would absolutely be kneeling in June, then told reporters three weeks ago that he had no regrets and was still planning on doing so.
Today, Mayfield backtracked and said that after further consideration, he would be standing for the anthem.
Mayfield is right that kneeling for the anthem is not and will not be the answer to the problems the country is facing. It's merely the first step on the road to fixing those issues. But the division Mayfield references is part of that process, too. While undue attention will be paid to the actual gesture rather than the problems the players doing so are attempting to bring to light, that's all part of the conversation.
There is no way to avoid controversy with this, though. Kneel or not, it's going to be talked about. Mayfield has made his decision.