The NFL is still stirring about protests during the national anthem and, this week, information from Jerry Jones and, separately, from the NFL office emerged to stoke the fire again. With that as the backdrop, Adam Schefter of ESPN caught up with Tampa Bay Buccaneers All-Pro defensive lineman Gerald McCoy about his feelings on the letter from Roger Goodell stating that all players should be standing.
“I don’t think guys are gonna like it. I think it’s gonna be an uproar if that is to happen because you’re basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If guys wanna have a, I guess you would call it a peaceful protest, I don’t think it’s right to take that away.”
The term of “uproar” jumps off the page when reading McCoy’s reaction but, in some ways, it isn’t surprising given the level of directive it would take to ensure that no one took a knee. In fact, McCoy stated it again.
“I had two teammates who did it, in Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. That’s their right to do that. And if they’re gonna do it, they’re gonna have support of the whole team.
“But if you take that away from them, there’s gonna be an uproar. It’s just gonna happen, because now it’s just like you have a voice at one point, but then you don’t at this point. And, that’s our right … it’s a constitutional right that we have, and if you take that away, I don’t think people are gonna take too kindly to it.”
Players from across the league will likely have direct reactions in the coming days if this becomes a full-fledged policy enforcement and, at that point, the story will grow even more.