Bruce Arians tells players to take action, “protesting doesn’t do crap”

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The Buccaneers were not among the NFL teams to cancel practice today in the wake of Kenosha, Wisconsin police shooting Jacob Blake, and coach Bruce Arians had some eyebrow-raising comments about the protests of the shooting that have reverberated through the sports world.

“Your responsibility is to take action,” Arians said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “I don’t know that protest is an action. I think each guy has a personal thing. I would beg them to take action, find a cause and either support it financially or do something to change the situation, because protesting doesn’t do crap in my opinion. I’ve been seeing it since 1968.”

But protesting is an action, and American history is full of examples of protests that made a difference, from the Boston Tea Party to the March on Washington. Perhaps what Arians meant is that words alone are not enough to effect change.

Arians himself has a strong track record for promoting diversity, and his Buccaneers staff, with two female coaches and African-Americans as the four highest-ranking assistants, is the most diverse coaching staff in NFL history. That doesn’t mean his comments about protests weren’t inaccurate, but it does suggest that Arians means it when he advocates taking action.

73 responses to “Bruce Arians tells players to take action, “protesting doesn’t do crap”

  1. And rioting, burning buildings, and looting is even less effective.
    Also, not going to work isn’t a great protest anyway

  2. I’m pretty sure Bruce Arians whole life has been about supporting diversity. Look back to his time at VT and his roommate. He’s a man of action not words and symbol who knows what he speaks of.

  3. Some protests can make a difference, like those cited above. I agree with Bruce. These protest don’t do crap.

  4. I dunno…Kap kneeling a few years back has certainly started something, whatever that something is…

  5. Yes protesting is an action, but often protesting is done by people with no other means to make a difference. NFL players are often respected among many young people and their presence and support within their own communities could make a bigger difference. The protests are not enough. Too often protests are weathered and not the lever to institute real change. NFL players and other high profile individuals need to get out and support leaders who will make a difference; not working and denying others the ability to earn money will not be enough.

  6. “find a cause and either support it financially or do something to change the situation”

    I think many players do support causes financially, it doesn’t get much press.

    I’m curious what the “do something to change the situation” means specifically.

  7. Bruce is 100% right. His whole team should fly to Kanosha (if they even have an airport) and get in the streets at night and calm down the rioters who would then scream at them “Your from Tampa Bay, WTF are you doing here” and proceed to throw bags of urine, bricks, and pipes at them like they do the police. Protesting and rioting are two entirely different things.

  8. Amen Bruce! 100% agree! Entertainers, which includes athletes, are all talk no action on this cause.
    They have off days, go march in broken areas and beg people to stop doing crimes, drugs, resisting. March and beg people to get educated, a job, live their dreams!

  9. That’s as real as it gets. Protest really don’t accomplish anything, they’ve been protesting things for the longest and those same things being protested continue to happen. Rioting doesn’t work either, 68 riots in Detroit literally killed a city that was at one time considered one of the greatest in the country. Look no further than Detroit for what this country will become if people continue destroying things. We’ve never recovered and I fear that the country is headed in that direction, gaining speed every day.

  10. I think what he means is that attending a protest is taking action. But simply not having football practice one day “doesn’t do crap”.

  11. Arians is right. He is basically saying, “put up or shut up”. What these players are doing now really isn’t accomplishing anything.Sports is going down the toilet right now. Actions speak louder than WORDS.

  12. Yeah they should start rioting. That’s seems to be the new action these days.

  13. No, I must use company time to voice my concerns.

    My money and free time is too valuable to me to do anything.

    Actually going out into communities and meeting with leaders to see how my enormous wealth and fame can be used for real change to help those in need and that are unrepresented would cut into my time I spend in my mansion or on luxurious vacations and shopping for my designer look.

  14. We see the horrors of police brutality on TV, social media, etc. We then see the horrors of protesters engaging in looting, beatings, etc. We never see anything positive even though there is so much out there. I truly believe middle class people can solve their (our) own problems without the input and the commentary of the rich and famous. These people don’t know us, don’t live like us, and can’t feel our pain even if they say they can. We must fix things ourselves instead of relying on corrupt government, corrupt media, and the wealthy. They are destroying us and dividing us further. We are the majority and we are better than what they portray us to be. If we had platforms to speak from, rather than wealthy corrupt people speaking for us, we would have had change a long time ago.

  15. The Boston Tea Party was an action and the ensuing protest/action, the refusal to buy British goods of any kind was a financial sacrifice for each and every colonial. Athletes have sacrificed nary a nickel. Charity donations don’t count as they are write offs on taxes. They sacrificed a game or a practice in which they still got PAID.

  16. Of course protesting does something but needs to be followed up with an actionable plan and then implemented. That is how real change, both locally and hopefully nationally can occur.

  17. I’m not sensitive to much, but when a writer writes, “perhaps he meamt to say”, I feel sorry for the speaker, Arians. Particularly with his proven track record.

  18. Bruce has a point. The author should know that most readers are gonna eat this up, given the demographics of the folks that frequent the comments section. Words mean nothing these days, and hollow virtue signaling is just that – hollow. Tearing down statues and throwing molotovs at police doesnt do much to help, either. Financially supporting a cause, and hiring qualified candidates from disadvantaged groups are great actions to take to show you mean what you say

  19. I love Bruce. He is saying what everyone is thinking. If you believe in a cause help people financially or with your time to move the cause along. NOTHING gets fixed overnight,but DO SOMETHING if you feel that strongly about it.

  20. I think you’re slightly misinterpreting Arians. He’s saying he’s seen this show repeatedly since 1968 and “just” protesting isn’t enough. It’s insufficient action to actually bring about the change you want. He’s not saying protest isn’t an action. He’s saying it’s not a good enough action.

  21. The most diverse staff is defined by having 80% of the highest ranking coaches being the same race?

    That’s not diversity, that’s just “not white.” Isn’t there a difference?

  22. Seems a little out of touch. The message is more pertinent to NFL players who have the means to take action other than protesting. But what does a regular person, or a poor person, have to affect change? They protest.

  23. Old man oblivious to reality who has absorbed the necessary propaganda to set off his likely three craft brew deep brain into his patented tirade.

    Love his as a coach, don’t respect his opinion on politics one bit.

    Calling for action to support something that doesn’t exist is dangerous, but hey, the propagandists don’t have to worry about being held accountable for their actions. It’ll sell papers and get clicks.

  24. March on Washington did make a difference.
    Rioting and looting in various cities..NO

  25. I totally understand the anger about these racial injustices and I think protesting can be meaningful. But if I walked away from my job over a matter that’s unrelated to my job, I’m pretty sure I’d get fired.

  26. I think Arians is a good coach and he seems like a great guy. But he’s hardly an expert on history, sociology, or psychology.

    I don’t know how effective protests are, either. But my guess is that some are more effective than others.

    And it’s hard to argue that getting yourself out on a street, carrying a sign, chanting slogans, etc., is not an action. Now, how effective that action is in changing what you don’t like seems like an open question to me.

  27. The best manager I ever reported to had a saying: If you don’t have a solution or won’t take action don’t complain to me.

  28. Historical examples are irrelevant. Current protesting isn’t doing much because nobody cares about the protestors. Nobody cares about black lives at all in the government, if they are even willing to acknowledge black people are human at all.

  29. Police treat people like dogs, and people don’t like it.

    So they kneel in protest, but privledged people tell them to shut up and stand.

    Then they assemble peacefully and protest, but priveledged people tell them to shut up and cops shoot them with tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper spray.

    Eventually, you keep telling people that have been treated like dogs to shut up and back them into a wall, they’re going to bite back.

    Maybe people should try listening to their plight. Instead of dismissing it because they’re not personally affected.

  30. We live in a sadly polarized state – everything is politically divided.

    Protesting can be effective, but in so many cases today, rioting overshadows the protest. What many will take from these past months is rioting, looting, arson, and all that accompanies these activities. The peaceful protests lose their power.

    When Kaep started to kneel, that was all the announcers talked about. I don’t watch football to have divisive politics dominate. I went for a season and a half without watching the NFL. This appears to be politically headed towards a complete and permanent stop to my watching football for the rest of my days – and this coming from a guy who had NFL Sunday ticket for about two decades.

    Politics are killing the golden goose IMO.

  31. Arians has a point.

    The NFL and its players are a publicity machine that could do some good work partnering with local police forces to improve training and procedure, helping them out with the cost and giving them some positive publicity as well. They could also help with recruitment of law enforcement.

  32. Hes right. Protesting is too easy and all it really did is ask someone else to address a problem. Be involved, time, money. Act locally. It matters.

  33. How about the police just use non-lethal means to diffuse situations…I see a lot of people telling people to stop resisting, but shooting someone seven times in the back is ridiculous…after seeing the George Floyd video, I wouldn’t trust any police if I was black…especially since there is plenty of abuse NOT caught on camera…I don’t blame people for rioting either…enough is enough already…

  34. Police do need better methods of diffusing dangerous situations without having to resort killing as much. However, in the meantime there is something that can be done NOW to SAVE LIVES. Why not start or fund a cause of educating potential criminals? Teach them how to go about life WITHOUT breaking the law. If they are NOT actively engaging in some unlawful activity the chances of them having contact with law enforcement will drop dramatically. Now, if they still MUST resort to criminal activity, teach them to accept it when they get caught and FULLY cooperate with the authorities. If they fully cooperate with law enforcement the chances of getting killed probably drop to less than 1%. Swallowing your pride, answering with only “Yes sir”, “No sir” and doing EXACTLY what you’re being asked WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. Let’s get that message out and truly start saving lives.

  35. Sucks the dude got shot, but before they used their guns they tried non-lethal measures. They couldn’t physically subdue him and apparently the stun gun didn’t do anything either. Yes, another black man getting shot is ridiculous but it’s just as ridiculous to act like this was completely the fault of the police. If Blake had simply complied with the officers he would not be in the hospital. He would be in jail due to an active warrant, and that’s probably why he wouldn’t comply, but it beats getting shot. I’m not a racist but facts and circumstances ARE important, especially in the current climate. I’m sure every officer involved was hoping they didn’t have to use their weapon, but without knowing whether or not there was a gun in his glove box, what were they supposed to do!? It shouldn’t be comply or die but these cops have a hell of a hard job.

  36. “To make a difference, be the difference.” That is what Arians is saying. Sitting out a game or practice doesn’t cut it. When they return, they’re still going to be paid.

  37. Nothing like a bunch of white, possible Trump voters on here, telling somone protesting doesn’t do anything when it’s clear they have in our history, from the women’s right to vote to the civil rights push in the 1950s, leading to the civil rights bill in 1965.

    All I see is a bunch of white racists who feel uncomfortable admitting things need to change and protesting and costing sports league some money, is a good way to start doing it.

  38. Not Everything Is A Joke says:
    August 27, 2020 at 2:59 pm
    The best manager I ever reported to had a saying: If you don’t have a solution or won’t take action don’t complain to me.

    2 2 Rate This

    ————-

    Laughable. Worst managing style ever especially when they block your actions or solutions that would so clearly be implemented and work.

    Not to mention, it’s the manager’s job to set the direction and initiatives and then delegate.

    What you said is an excuse for a lazy “leader”.

  39. worstpotusever says:
    August 27, 2020 at 2:43 pm
    Yeah, that little Boston Harbor protest back in 1773 was a total flop.~

    9 30 Rate This

    ————-

    Exactly. The last guy I’d get a history lesson from is loud mouth Arians and his narcissistic self.

  40. worstpotusever says:
    August 27, 2020 at 2:43 pm
    Yeah, that little Boston Harbor protest back in 1773 was a total flop.~
    _______________________

    The fact that you had to go that far back to find an effective protest kinda proves Arians point.

  41. sdcharger123 says:
    August 27, 2020 at 3:09 pm
    Police treat people like dogs, and people don’t like it.

    So they kneel in protest, but privledged people tell them to shut up and stand.

    Then they assemble peacefully and protest, but priveledged people tell them to shut up and cops shoot them with tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper spray.

    Eventually, you keep telling people that have been treated like dogs to shut up and back them into a wall, they’re going to bite back.

    Maybe people should try listening to their plight. Instead of dismissing it because they’re not personally affected.

    ———————————–
    “Assemble peacefully” Are you kidding? I live in Wisconsin and Kenosha was not peaceful assembly.

  42. Not to dwell too much on the details here, but the Boston Tea Party was only a prelude to armed conflict. The March on Washington was an amazing step forward for civil rights, but 60 years later we’re still fighting that battle. So were either effective protests?
    The bigger question is: Will not playing a basketball games or not practicing football lead to stopping police from gunning down African Americans?

  43. Empirically speaking, he’s pretty much right. And when it comes to athletes, doubly so.

    Pro athletes have the time and resources available to affect much greater social change than many regular people combined. Maybe, between the money and public stature, more than hundreds of regular people. Yet what do most of them do? Spend the offseason being rich people, and spend the season tweeting and talking and waiting for the league to do something.

    Of course there are exceptions, and some pro athletes put their time and money where their mouths are. But most don’t live up to that.

    It must seem odd to Arians to be surrounded by dozens of multi-millionaires who make themselves helpless and think that not showing up to work for one day is making any difference. His message for athletes is a good one: DO something!

  44. @touchback6: Seems you are missing the point altogether. Protesting is effective only if those protesting are also willing and committed to help craft a solution and realize it. Unlike the bunch of highly privileged athletes in the NBA, who showed yesterday that there protest is token lip service only.

    And to sweep our comments under the “they must be Trump voters” rug is simply beyond ridiculous. If you keep bringing politics into sports discussions, you may need to rethink your position.

  45. mike624 says:
    August 27, 2020 at 2:21 pm
    I love this guy. Definitely cracked my top 5 of who I’d like to have a beer with.

    ********************************************************************************

    You love him because he says stuff you agree with. This is why nothing changes — people only want to have beers with people who say the same things that are already in their own heads.

  46. The “protests” jumped the shark on the very first night when they started looting and burning and killing innocent people. They immediately proved that it was never about injustice. And for the people who really were out there to protest for perceived injustice, they should be furious at those who hijacked their stage and made it about chaos and anarchy. Arians is right that they’ll never accomplish anything that way. If these players want to help, go volunteer at the police department in the offseason. Fund or raise funds for extra analytics and training. Fund or organize community outreach on how to interact/not interact with police.

  47. LOL, a commenter says “not going to work isn’t a great protest.” Actually, it’s called a strike and it’s one of the most effective forms of protest- read a U.S. history book some time and see how miners, factory workers, farmers, sweat shop workers etc. won labor protections over the last 140 odd years.

  48. He’s right, but his aggressive and non-conformist language means his message will be lost completely.

    The Bucks didn’t play basketball yesterday, but as far I can tell, Wisconsin is still on fire. The actions taken by the NBA have been heard across the world, which is a great thing, but I am not sure that the message reached those individuals that are shooting unarmed black men or causing opportunistic violence in American cities.

    In the 3 or 4 years that NFL players have been protesting, the race divide has gotten worse, not better. If the players who sat out yesterday’s NBA games had of flown to Kenosha, Seattle, Portland, etc etc etc and addressed the crowds, it would have had a far greater impact.

  49. I agree with coach. Players should give back to their communities. And I don’t mean donate a couple of grand to the boys and girls club . They should start a business in these areas. Create jobs for the urban youth, help them learn to be a productive member of society.

  50. Arians is wise. It’s time to stop protesting and start taking action. And let the action be wise and meaningful and not immature/violent and meaningless.

  51. What has he done and why is he held in such high regard? Nothing as a head coach! Keep your mouth shut about things you know nothing about.

  52. Protesting may or may not be effective, but one thing that everyone can agree on that resting on one knee for 3 minutes a week isn’t protesting.

  53. sixstream says:
    August 27, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    LOL, a commenter says “not going to work isn’t a great protest.” Actually, it’s called a strike and it’s one of the most effective forms of protest- read a U.S. history book some time and see how miners, factory workers, farmers, sweat shop workers etc. won labor protections over the last 140 odd years.
    ——————

    Well, those miners, factory workers, farmers, and sweat shop workers actually had something to lose. A bunch of millionaires taking a day off from a game that no one is even watching is meaningless.

  54. Mike Sita says:
    August 28, 2020 at 7:03 am

    What has he done and why is he held in such high regard?
    ——————————-

    He leads all active coaches in the number of players thrown under the bus.

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