J.J. Watt, Baker Mayfield shut down fans who assumed they’re against protesting during national anthem

With widespread protests and countless athletes getting involved across the country in recent weeks, it’s all but certain that players will start kneeling during the national anthem in protest this fall. 

Houston Texans star J.J. Watt and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield ensured that they’ll be supporting those protests on social media on Saturday, too.

J.J. Watt quickly corrects fan

Watt slammed a fan on Twitter on Saturday afternoon who, in a since-deleted tweet, said they were “pretty sure you won’t see J.J. Watt taking a knee” during the national anthem this season.

The defensive end didn’t specify whether he’d be taking a knee during the anthem himself, but he’s clearly in support of the protests. 

He isn’t alone in Houston, either. 

Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Friday that he’ll be kneeling alongside his players this fall. 

“Yeah, I’ll take a knee — I’m all for it,” O’Brien told the Houston Chronicle. “The players have a right to protest, a right to be heard and a right to be who they are. They’re not taking a knee because they’re against our flag. They’re taking a knee because they haven’t been treated equally in this country for over 400 years.”

Mayfield to kneel this season

Mayfield isn’t just in support of players kneeling in protest during the national anthem. He’s planning to kneel, too.

Mayfield replied to a fan who commented on Saturday afternoon wanting to make sure he wasn’t going to kneel in protest. His response was perfect.

“Pull your head out,” he wrote back. “I absolutely am [going to kneel].”

Some fans didn’t take too well to his comment, but Mayfield didn’t care. “If I lose fans,” he said, “it’s OK.”

Though it’s not known exactly how many players and coaches will take a knee during the national anthem this season, Watt and Mayfield’s comments on Saturday did make something crystal clear: Kneeling is sure to be much more widespread this fall than it was when Colin Kaepernick first started the movement in 2016.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield plans to kneel during the national anthem in protest this season. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

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