Political protests overtook the NFL.

But this stood out from the rest.

And that’s because a star quarterback made one unbelievable political statement before his last game.

Cleveland Browns fourth-year quarterback Baker Mayfield developed a close relationship with members of the United States military.

Before the Browns week two matchup with the Houston Texans, Mayfield took advantage of the NFL’s new policies on allowing players to promote causes on their cleats by wearing a custom pair of cleats featuring the name and likeness of Maxton Soviak, one of the 13 U.S. service members killed in the ISIS-K terrorist attack at the Kabul Airport.

Ever since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling for the national anthem, the NFL became overrun with anti-military and anti-American flag protestors making spectacles of themselves during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.

The NFL used to be the one pro sports league closely associated with the U.S. armed forces.

Military flyovers are a staple of pregame ceremonies before major NFL events.

But after the national anthem protests gained steam, the NFL’s image in the minds of many fans changed.

Some fans began to boycott the NFL and refused to watch games on TV or attend in person.

Mayfield’s support for the military – and specifically one of the soldiers killed during Joe Biden’s bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan – stood out as a welcome relief to Americans who thought the NFL jumped off the Black Lives Matter deep end with the league’s embrace of anthem kneeling and so-called “racial justice” protests.

Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.