Mason Cole expects Cardinals to make national anthem decision together

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Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and running back Kenyan Drake already have publicly declared they will kneel for the national anthem this season. Center Mason Cole, who is white, has listened and will continue to listen to his black teammates, he said, when asked whether he would join teammates in their protest of social injustice.

“It’s kind of an ongoing discussion throughout the team,” Cole said in a video call Monday, via Howard Balzer of SI.com. “What I’m trying to do is listen to my teammates, and everyone else that’s been going through so much hurt in their life. I think we’re all guilty of not always listening, and understanding the struggle that some people go through. So for me right now, I’m just focusing on listening and learning and understanding what a lot of people in this country have been through. Because I don’t think we’ve always done a great job of understanding that. I think we’ll continue to have discussions as a team, and I think we’ll probably figure out something to do as a whole team together.”

The Cardinals’ discussions weren’t limited to football in the almost month since a former Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd. Their virtual meetings included social injustice and police brutality issues.

Cole has opened his ears, eyes and heart.

“I think in football, we’re really lucky to have such a diverse group all across the team, not only in the O-line room,” Cole said. “I watched a clip of Hump [tackle D.J. Humphries] and what he said about the O-line room. I really do think that if the rest of the world was like the O-line group, it’d be fantastic. We can have those tough conversations in our group and be able to listen and learn from each other, and I think that’s huge. I think that’s something that we can all take part in.”