Kyler Murray says he will kneel for national anthem this season

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray spoke to reporters on Wednesday about ongoing anti-racism protests. 

Kyler Murray plans to take a stand against racism and injustice during the 2020-21 NFL season by taking a knee during the national anthem.

On Wednesday, the Arizona Cardinals spoke to reporters via video conference about the anti-racism protests that have swept the nation in the past few weeks. We’ve seen people both in and out of sports moved to action. NASCAR banned the Confederate flag. The Premier League will be wearing kits that say ‘Black Lives Matter’ for the rest of the season. The NFL commissioner even admitted that the league had made mistakes in the past and solidified his commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Murray says he is optimistic that the world really is changing.

“I hope so,” Murray said. “There is a lot of hate in the world, but at the same time, what’s happening and what we’re seeing right now, it’s huge… The peaceful protests I think they’re great. They’re amazing. I think that’s just the start of it.”

Murray was asked directly whether he would be kneeling during the national anthem, a form of protest that Colin Kapernick and others used in 2016 to bring attention to police brutality.

“Yeah, I’ll be kneeling,” Murray said. “I stand for what’s right… I’ll definitely be taking a knee.”

Who else could we see taking a knee in the 2020 season?

Kyler Murray isn’t the only player in the NFL who has said, or suggested, that he will take a knee during the national anthem. And unlike the protests in 2016, the current chorus of voices includes white players.

J.J. Watt suggested on Twitter over the weekend that he might kneel during the anthem. After a fan tweeted “pretty sure you won’t see J.J. Watt taking a knee,” Watt responded and said that the fan didn’t speak for him. He also pointed out that kneeling during the anthem was not disrespectful to the American flag or the military.

Baker Mayfield also made headlines this week when he said that he would be taking a knee this season. When a fan confronted him on Instagram and said “Please tell Browns fans you’re not going to be kneeling this season,” Mayfield responded, “pull your head out. I absolutely am.”

And Texans coach Bill O’Brien, who supported his players protesting in 2016 and 2017, said he was prepared to take a knee alongside his players. “Yeah, I’ll take a knee,” O’Brien said. “I’m all for it.”

“They’re not taking a knee because they’re against our flag,” O’Brien said. “They’re taking a knee because they haven’t been treated equally in this country for over 400 years.”

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