FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Demario Davis and Kelvin Beachum of the Jets declined Friday to discuss specifics of a meeting they attended last week with some NFL owners that addressed ongoing player protests for social change.
An ESPN The Magazine story details several discussions from the meeting at NFL offices in New York, including a moment when Davis stood and said, “I’m going to break it down for you guys. You guys aren’t supporting us, and until you do, there’s going to be an issue.”
Davis has locked arms with Jets CEO/chairman Christopher Johnson along with other players since Week 3 as a sign of unity as the NFL continues to wrestle with the issue of players’ protests during the national anthem.
Asked after Friday’s Jets practice about the meeting, Davis said: “ . . . I talked about it last week on my thoughts on the meeting. Now I’m just focusing on [Sunday’s opponent] Atlanta.”
Davis is hopeful next week’s round of meetings will lead to more progress in the owners understanding the players’ prospective for taking a knee or sitting before or during the national anthem.
The ESPN story also quotes Davis as thanking Johnson for speaking with nearly every Jets player about what they wanted to accomplish by protesting.
“Guys will stand up if you hear them,” Davis said, according to the report.
Beachum, like Davis, is very active with the NFL Players Association during the discussions about the players’ right to protest social injustices. He said he was encouraged by the round of meetings last week, but also declined to add details.
“It’s a step in the right direction, but there’s still a long way to go,” he said. “But again our focus, both mine and DD, is really on the Falcons this week.”
The ESPN story also quoted Houston Texans owner Bob McNair as saying during one meeting, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” referring to players protesting.
McNair apologized for the comment in a statement released Friday by the Texans.
“That’s the first time I heard that,” Davis said when told about McNair’s comment. “I don’t know how I feel about that.”
Beachum declined to address McNair’s comment.