In the video an older gentleman appears to be burning a homemade Marshall jersey. Eric Goodman from The Afternoon Drive was able to get a quote from the guy.
That’s certainly an interesting sentiment. I wonder, what is the right format? For his part, Marshall has been gracious and sincere in his explanation of his stance. He has lost sponsorships, but refuses to waiver.
Protests are nothing new in sports. John Carlos and Tommie Smith, with fists raised in the air, protested during the national anthem at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Muhammad Ali refused to step forward when he was drafted, and was stripped of his title. LeBron James and the Miami Heat wore hoodies to reference the Trayvon Martin shooting. The former St. Louis Rams had players who walked onto the field with arms raised to show solidarity with protests surrounding the police shooting of Mike Brown. Athletes are in a unique position to draw attention to social issues, but maybe that’s the problem.
When you sit down on Sunday with your cold beer and bowl of chips, do you want to think about social injustice, or racial problems? Probably not. So when would be the right time for these athletes to raise a protest? What would be a suitable scenario, that would still reach millions of people, and create a dialogue?
At this point, it doesn’t matter whether you think these players should stand or not. The Constitution guarantees their right to protest. It also guarantees sponsors the right to back out of the deals they have with them. The old man burning the orange t-shirt has the right to protest these protests. The dialogue is out there. That has always been the goal.
Even Mike Pritchard couldn’t get away from talking about the protests around the league. Eventually, he got a chance to talk football, and he called the Broncos dirty.