Two more Raiders were willing to join the ranks of those willing to make their feelings known during the national anthem, with linebackers Malcolm Smith and Bruce Irvin raising their fists in a quiet salute.
But don’t look for wide receiver Michael Crabtree to be joining them, or apparently any cause.
According to Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle, Crabtree wasn’t interested in discussing it after the Raiders beat the Titans on the road.
“I just play football,” Crabtree said. “I ain’t no Martin Luther King.”
Likewise, Crabtree didn’t want to share any thoughts on his former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose sitting during the national anthem to protest police brutality and unfair treatment of minorities led to taking a knee,
“I’ve let it be known I don’t have anything to do with him,” Crabtree said. “I’m a Raider.”
That’s entirely his right, as it is the right of those who have something to say saying it. Smith said it wasn’t anything he planned but a reaction to something he saw in the crowd.
“I’ve talked about it, I’ve thought about it, but I wasn’t going to do it until I saw a little girl in the stands try to put her fist up and her mom slapped her hand down,” Smith said. “I just felt like you’ve got a voice, you should be able to use it no matter the circumstances. You’ve got a point of view, you should be able to use it.
“It’s no disrespect to the military or the police force. There’s a lot of stuff going on in this country that has been hard for people to understand. I’m all for everyone standing together as a country, first and foremost. . . . Hopefully, it’s getting a conversation started. I hope people don’t feel disrespect.”
Crabtree apparently doesn’t, and sees no need to add his voice to a growing chorus.