When the NFL meets with the players on Tuesday and Wednesday in Manhattan, Jets left tackle Kelvin Beachum hopes the dialogue regarding national anthem protests will deal with what the players are actually fighting for.
NFL players, starting with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season, wanted to raise awareness to police brutality and social injustices against minorities by taking a knee before or during the anthem.
This season, some players, such as the Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch, have sat during the anthem.
The protest in some ways has turned into a debate of whether it’s disrespectful to the national anthem and those who served in the armed services. The discussions this week between owners and players could lead to a way on how to handle it.
“It’s hard for me to answer that as one person,” Beachum said Monday. “I think that’s what the conversations around the whole topic is about. It’s not about the anthem. With all that’s been said, a lot of people have forgot about the message and what the protest started for.
Jets middle linebacker Demario Davis and Jets CEO/chairman Christopher Johnson have spoken with commissioner Roger Goodell about the protests and what the league can do to understand where the players are coming from.
President Donald Trump’s comments that NFL players should be “fired” if they take a knee during the anthem, which was backed up by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones saying his players need to stand for the anthem, has created more controversy.
“I think just the conversations and the collaborations are a step in the right direction,” Beachum said. “I don’t know what will come out of those meetings. The fact conversations are happening I think is a step in the right direction.”