Lions' Matthew Stafford says kneeling during the national anthem was 'the right thing for me'

The quarterback was playing his first game since Nov. 3

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Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was among the players who knelt during the national anthem on Sunday before taking on the Chicago Bears in the first game of the 2020 NFL season.

Stafford explained his decision Wednesday and told reporters the timing was right, according to the Detroit Free Press.

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“Obviously, it’s been an amazing offseason for me personally, for our team, for a lot of people,” Stafford said. “There’s been a great opportunity for growth and learning and understanding, and just felt like it was the right thing for me, as certain guys on our team felt like the right thing was standing, certain guys felt like the right thing for them was being in the locker room. We support each other. We know where everybody stands in our locker room. We love each other and support each other and that’s that.”

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Stafford’s teammate, Will Harris, told reporters he appreciated the quarterback deciding to kneel and that “you could see he really cares” like everyone else on the roster.

Stafford was 24-for-42 with 297 passing yards, a touchdown pass and an interception. It was his first game back since Nov. 3.

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Detroit lost the game, 27-23, after allowing 17 points in the fourth quarter.