While we wait for Mark Davis and the Raiders organization to make an official statement on Donald Trump’s incendiary comments calling for the jobs of ‘son of a bitch’ protesting NFL players, he has spoken up.
“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,” Davis told ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “I explained to them I was asking their permission because I had previously told them that I would prefer that they not protest while in Raiders uniform. And should they have something to say once their uniform was off, I might go up there with them.”
Tommie Smith, for those unfamiliar, raised a fist on the medal stand after winning the 200m at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
This preseason, Derek Carr and Khalil Mack did demonstrate during the National Anthem. It wasn’t a kneel though. Carr put his hand on Mack’s shoulder in what they said was a show of unity. Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing did the same with fullback Jamize Olawale.
But now a stronger message is needed. And Mark Davis understands that.
“Over the last year, though,” Davis continued, “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 not to 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 that’s in front of us as Americans and as human beings.”
Well said, Mark.
Early reports have the Raiders offensive line kneeling or sitting during the Anthem tonight. We’ll see if more Raiders players join them.