Washington Redskins players, including former Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder (80) kneel during the the national anthem before the game against the Oakland Raiders at FedExField on September 24, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. Patrick Smith Getty Images
Washington Redskins players, including former Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder (80) kneel during the the national anthem before the game against the Oakland Raiders at FedExField on September 24, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. Patrick Smith Getty Images

Duke

Redskins’ Jamison Crowder knelt for the anthem. Here’s what his former coach had to say.

By Steve Wiseman

swiseman@heraldsun.com

September 25, 2017 02:26 PM

UPDATED September 28, 2017 03:52 PM

Former Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder joined six other Washington Redskins teammates in kneeling down during the national anthem on Sunday night.

Prior to the Redskins home game with the Oakland Raiders, most of the Redskins players linked arms with team owner Daniel Snyder in response to President Trump’s Friday night comments that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the anthem as a form of protest.

But Crowder, who played at Duke from 2011-2014, joined fellow wide receivers Josh Doctson and Brian Quick; tight ends Jordan Reed and Niles Paul; and linebackers Ryan Anderson and Chris Carter in taking a knee. Quick played college football at Appalachian State.

David Cutcliffe, Crowder’s coach at Duke, said he hasn’t spoken with his former player about his action. But Cutcliffe said, “I always prefer to stand in front of the flag.”

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“I’d be interested to hear what he has to say because he’s the only one I think I know,” Cutcliffe said. “He’s a great person. But I don’t know his heart or his mind on this. If he wanted to have a conversation, I’m conversational with our own kids about this. There is no reason to make mandates or anything else. But I want young people to understand what they are doing in that circumstance. It needs to really be thought out.”

The 63-year-old Cutcliffe grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1950s and ’60s during the civil rights era. He said he remembers those protests, which often turned violent, very well.

“We supported the protests that were there,” Cutcliffe said. “I truly understand that. It’s not just our military. It starts with that. But it’s every bit of our heritage and our ability to stand together. I understand standing and locking arms. That makes sense to me.”

A Monroe native, Crowder is in his third season with Washington. He was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He set the franchise record for receptions by a rookie (59) in 2015.

Crowder caught six passes for 52 yards in Washington’s 27-10 win over Oakland Sunday night.

More NFL players sit, take a knee following Trump criticism

During President Donald Trump's speech at a rally in Huntsville, Ala. on Sept. 22, 2017, he said any player that sits during the national anthem is a "son of a bitch." The president also rescinded NBA champ Stephen Curry's invitation to the White House. Trump's comments ultimately led to more protests by NFL players, coaches and owners during the national anthem on Sept. 24, 2017.

Alexa Ard / McClatchy

Steve Wiseman: 919-419-6671, @stevewisemanNC