According to Bleacher Report New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said Friday he’ll support players who opt to kneel during the national anthem throughout the 2020 season, but he’s not sure whether he’ll join the protests.
“I’m here to support the players,” Gase told reporters before being asked whether he’d take a knee. “… We’ve got a long way to go before we play a game. There will be a lot of discussions before then.”
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the kneeling movement in August 2016 to protest racial injustice and police brutality.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media at the time. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
His actions were highly polarizing, however, and Kaepernick has remained a free agent since March 2017.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a video statement June 5 saying the league was “wrong” with its handling of the previous protests and “encouraged” future peaceful demonstrations:
Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley said after Goodell’s comments that he’d have a conversation with teammates about the situation before the 2020 season gets underway:
“That’s something that we have to do. It’s going to come up again. Some guys are definitely going to kneel again. Some guys won’t. Like I said, I hope the NFL and the owners can look back at that situation and make sure we all handle it the right way. I would think that the NFL and the owners and the coaches will have our backs 100 percent, full support.
“But like I said, we got to have that conversation so we can all see where everybody’s mindset is, and it would be the type of discussion we would have in our locker room, but it’s a little harder because guys don’t talk as much, aren’t as close when we’re not seeing each other every single day.”