Joe Judge on protests, social action: Players steer the ship, we support them

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In 2017, Giants co-owner John Mara pointed to fan backlash to Colin Kaepernick protesting racial inequality and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem as a reason why the team did not consider signing him to a contract.

The Giants appear to have had a change of heart when it comes to possible player demonstrations this season. The issue has been revived as NFL players have spoken out about systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and Giants running back Saquon Barkley had a leading role in the player-created video demanding more from the NFL on social justice issues.

Plans for the fall haven’t come together at this point, but head coach Joe Judge said the organization will be “very receptive” to players and support them in any way they can.

“We’re connecting the players [to] get boots on the ground,” Judge said, via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. “And start getting to work and be interactive with the people in the communities as they look to make a difference. We’ve let the players steer the ship on this. It has to be their voice that has got to be heard. It’s got to be about what they believe is important that we can support and stand behind them on.”

Judge is in his first year as a head coach and said he has to listen to comprehend and “really understand what collectively puts together our team” if he’s going to be able to be the voice of the team.