NFL players, including some prominent white players, have vowed to kneel for the national anthem this season in protest of racism and police brutality. Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries said Monday fans can expect the kneeling to continue until players see substantial governmental change.
“Are you going to make these changes so (NFL players) don’t have to continue to protest?” Humphries said Monday during a video conference, via Kyle Odegard of the team website. “Are you going to change police policies? Are you going to change the way you do things in-house? Are things going to change? Because if not, if we’re going to keep arresting these police that are killing us, and then they keep getting acquitted, getting off with cold-blooded murder, then things are not changing. We’re bringing more attention to it, and more people are seeing how flawed this system is. . . . But just bringing attention to it, change is not happening yet.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a video in support of players, and the league made a $250 million donation over 10 years to fight systemic racism.
It is not enough, according to Humphries. He wants to see companies do more, including hiring more minorities.
“When I know you’re pulling the wool over my people’s eyes, it’s hard for me to sit back and act like things are really changing just because companies are publicly apologizing,” Humphries said. “It’s cool that you’re publicly apologizing and sad, putting up Black Lives Matter posts, but are you going to change your hiring practices? Are your hiring practices going to become equal? Are you going to start hiring people because they’re qualified for the job, not because you play golf with their father? . . . It’s going to go one way or the other, because there is more light being shined on it now.”
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury gave players the organization’s blessing on protesting, including with taking a knee during the anthem.
“It’s refreshing to know I play for an organization that will support my decision, whichever way we decide to go,” Humphries said. “Our voices are not going to be silenced.”