John Mara would rather Olivier Vernon stand, but respects his views

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Giants co-owner John Mara, predictably, winced when Olivier Vernon told fans who didn’t like him kneeling during the national anthem to stay home.

But he also respects Vernon’s decision to kneel, even while admitting he will be trying to talk him out of it someday.

Mara, appearing on ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show, said he didn’t think Vernon was trying to antagonize fans who disagreed with him.

“I haven’t talked to him about that yet, but I don’t really think he meant it that way,” Mara said, via “If you look at the overall interview that he gave, it was actually pretty good. I think he should have chosen his words more carefully.”

Vernon, the son of a police officer, began kneeling in Week Three, sparked by President Donald Trump’s criticism. He has said repeatedly his protest has nothing to do with the military or law enforcement, but rather is about racial inequality.

“I’ve talked to him about his kneeling and I’ve told him how much I would prefer that he stand and we’ve talked about why he does that,” Mara said. “As some people know, his father is a retired police officer in South Florida. He said he’s talked to his father about it and his father supports his decision. . . .

“I don’t agree with what he’s doing, but I told him that I respect him as a man, I respect him as a player. I’m going to try to convince him to stand and I think at some point that he will, but this is something that he believes very deeply in and it’s going to be an individual decision. I know that’s not a popular decision. I know by virtue of me telling you this right now that’s going to prompt a few hundred more letters and emails, but that’s the way it is.”

Vernon’s the only Giants player who continues to protest. And Mara knows he can’t do anything (else) to alienate fans during the final three home games of the season, or the good players he has paid a lot of money to.

20 responses to “John Mara would rather Olivier Vernon stand, but respects his views

  1. I’m still puzzled how this kneeling protest got twistied into an anti-military stance. Isn’t protesting for what we believe in inherently American?

  2. oldtrix says:
    December 6, 2017 at 1:56 pm
    I’m still puzzled how this kneeling protest got twistied into an anti-military stance. Isn’t protesting for what we believe in inherently American?
    In a word “deflection”

    And it has gone viral.

  3. You’re the boss… make him stand or send him packing. Protests have turned a lot of people away and kept me from spending any money on nfl tickets or merchandise for 2 years in a row

  4. Half the league’s fans are gone? Someone is exaggerating a bit much. I dare say it’s barely 10% if that. Also, what a lot of people don’t seem to realize is that there are also fans who are boycotting the NFL because Colin Kapernick was NOT signed by a team. I had 3 such people quit my fantasy league for that reason. Just don’t take all the credit for the reduced number of fans no matter how miniscule. I wish the people who do choose to boycott, would do so 100%…stop coming here too.

  5. Good for Mara.

    Anyone who claims Vernon and all the protests are anti-cop will have to find another reason to hate them… oh wait… yeh.

  6. Half the league? right… so the NFL ratings are dropped by half and the stadiums are half empty? Yeh, right.

    I suppose next you’r egoing to say that half of America threw their keurigs out on the street?

    There is a certain trend where conservatives think that the whole country, half or more than half, are on their side on certain social/social justice issues, but the reality is much different. I personally know conservatives who are boycotting the NFL games, and true ratings are a shade down, but it’s more like 10% at the most, unless you care to share some facts to the contrary.

  7. How is being in favor of equal justice the same as being anti-military? There is reams of data to support the players position if anyone would care to look. But it is far easier to just brand them as uppity and unpatriotic. Critical thinking is not exactly in vogue these days.

  8. Half of yall don’t even bother standing while the anthem on TV when you are at home, shut up and quit your stupid logic. smh delusional weak Americans lol

  9. , and true ratings are a shade down, but it’s more like 10% at the most,
    Even though I have read on this site that ratings for the last two years are down in the vicinity of 20%, I will take your 10% figure, and, expand on it financially.
    The NFL is a $12-14 billion enterprise. Simple math, 10% of $12-14 billion is $1.2-1.4 billion dollars.
    No business can survive with that kind of hit to revenues without significant cost cutting actions. Where do you think the owners are going to cut costs? I’ll tell you straight out….player expense in salaries and benefits.

  10. Kneeling/Protesting is super patriotic. The fascists have it twisted. I didn’t see the #MAGA hat wearing fool stop eating his nachos and get off his barstool on Sunday at 12:50pm. This “boycott” that isnt working is the dumbest thing I’ve seen in my time roaming this earth. These trumpanzees need to read the 1st amendment

  11. I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face. The National Anthem is not the time to protest. Too sacred to too many of us. Too much blood shed so it could be played and idiots like Vernon have the freedom to make this kind of mistake. In another place and in another manner I’d be the first to stand beside him, given the causes he’s kneeling for. Now? I wish they would cut him.

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