Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis has changed his stance on player protests, according to ESPN.
Davis told ESPN’s Paul Guitierrez that he had initially asked players not to protest while wearing the Raiders uniform. However, the owner said he now condones players expressing their beliefs during games following President Donald Trump’s critical comments of NFL players decision to protest social injustices.
“About a year ago, before our Tennessee game, I met with Derek Carr and Khalil Mack to ask their permission to have Tommie Smith light the torch for my father before the game in Mexico City. I explained to them that I was asking their permission because I had previously told them that I would prefer that they not protest while in the Raiders uniform. And should they have something to say, once their uniform was off, I might go up there with them. Over the last year, though, the streets have gotten hot and there has been a lot of static in the air and recently, fuel has been added to the fire. I can no longer ask our team to not say something while they are in a Raider uniform. The only thing I can ask them to do is do it with class. Do it with pride. Not only do we have to tell people there is something wrong, we have to come up with answers. That’s the challenge in front of us as Americans and human beings.”
On Friday, Trump made headlines during an appearance in Alabama in which he commented on the league-wide national anthem protests by saying that NFL owners should respond to the player protests with the phrase “get that son of a bitch off the field.”
Wouldn’t you love one of these NFL owners… when someone disrespects our flag say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field, right now, out, he’s fired.”Advertisement
The President doubled down on Saturday amid another battle he waged with former NBA MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, claiming he withdrew his invitation to visit the White House, which Curry and the team have stated they had no interest in previously.
Even former Ravens legend Ray Lewis, who criticized Kaepernick before, has reverse his position to join in solidarity with those in the NFL.