Saquon Barkley is speaking out about the NFL protests at the New York Giants season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. According to the star running back, some members of the Giants will be protesting during the anthem. However, they hope to handle it the “right way.”
“We want it to be team-oriented,” Barkley said, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.com, “where we find a way to do it in the right way, where we can still have impact.”
Saquon Barkley Wants to Find the ‘Right Way,’ Where Does the Giants Owner Stand?
John Mara, the owner of the New York Giants, recently explained that he plans to support his players and their decision on whether to kneel or stand. While Mara prefers that players stand, he says that he backs the players’ First Amendment rights.
“My preference is that everybody stand, but if you decide in your conscience that taking a knee is the right thing to do, I’m going to support your right to do that because I believe in the First Amendment,” said Mara, who also serves as the team’s CEO and president, according to Fox News.
Mara explains that the decision to support his players no matter what they choose to do comes easier after seeing how much they give back to their communities.
“I’ll support any players’ right to engage in silent protest” Mara said. “What makes it easy for me to do that is when I see how much work they’re [Giants players] doing in the community and how important what is going on right now in this country is to each of them, and they back it up with actions, not just words.”
John Mara Speaks Out After Colin Kaepernick Kneels
After former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first kneeling during the anthem several years ago, Mara openly opposed the idea of not standing.
In 2018, Mara called for the NFL to craft a policy that can unite both the NFL coaches, players, and staff as well as the viewers. However, he acknowledges that kneeling during the anthem caused division amongst the NFL and some of its audiences.
“We’ve been supportive of those in the past who have decided to protest, but I think we’ve gotten to a point now where it’s become such a divisive issue that I think it’s important that we come out of here with a policy that everybody can respect and adhere to,” Mara said at the time.
“It’s an issue that is very divisive, [for] people on both sides of it. And you have to take the players’ feelings and views into account, as well. So we’re hopeful of coming out of this with some sort of policy that works,” he said.
[H/T Pro Football Talk]