The Giants have not had any players taking a knee or raising a fist during the playing of the national anthem at their first two games of the season, but a couple of players on the team said there may be a change in the wake of the death of Terrence Crutcher in Tulsa.
Crutcher was shot and killed by a police officer last weekend and running back Rashad Jennings said Tuesday that he’s thought for a while that another incident would lead to more people joining Colin Kaepernick and others in using the playing of the anthem as a moment to protest. Jennings has been part of a large group text of NFL players discussing the issues behind those protests and said he’s spoken to Kaepernick as well.
“Remove football for a minute, and this is life,” Jennings said, via Tom Rock of Newsday. “These are real issues that people are dealing with on a daily basis that are blinded by a lot of entertainment. And we’re a part of who we are entertaining. We’re football players. It’s Sunday, people think ‘What are they doing? What’s my fantasy points look like?’ In reality, people are dying. Privileged people need to defend and actually voice out, not the oppressed. That’s just complaining. The people who are privileged need to voice it themselves and say: ‘This isn’t right.’ That’s what Kaep’s doing, that’s what a lot of people are doing. That’s what my whole conversation with Kaep was about, understanding where he’s coming from. And I support that 100 percent.”
Linebacker Keenan Robinson said that there’s been talk around the locker room about doing something different for this weekend’s game and about how to do it so that the message gets across correctly.
“A couple of the guys on the team have talked about it,” Robinson said. “We want to do it appropriately and effectively if we do it. We don’t want to do it in a dishonorable manner or a disrespectful way. We want to make sure our point gets across if we do do it. That’s what a couple of guys have talked about. We don’t want to do it just to be doing it. If we’re going to do it, people need to know why we’re doing it and that needs to not be taken lightly.”
Giants coach Ben McAdoo said last month that he would be disappointed if any players on the team didn’t stand for the anthem, but noted it wasn’t mandated by the team.