'Valentine's Views' podcast: Amidst unrest, NFL players find their voices

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

podcast listeners. We are amazing avenue the espy nation new. York mets site. I'm Chris McShane and every week. Brian, Salvator and I discussed the current state of the mets Automated Avenue audio the show we try to look at the mets from a somewhat logical point of view, and not get too deep into panic city. We also answer your emails. Give weekly music recommendations and try not to get too frustrated with the team. You can find the show on apple podcasts on stitcher. By wherever you get your podcasts and let's go mets. Hello giants fans welcome to a new edition of the Valentine's views podcast here on big Louie radio part of your SP nation family of podcasts I'm your host Ed Valentine of big, Blue View. You Know Big Blue View is a football site. Big Blue Radio is a football podcast. We try very hard to to keep the focus on football to stay away from from politics to stay away from social issues to keep the conversation on your new. York giants, unfortunately with the way. Things are in this country right now. It is very difficult to do that. That, it is pretty much necessary to talk about the social issues that are going on in this country, the racial injustice, the policing situation in the wake of of the killing of George Floyd we pretty much have to do that especially, since so many athletes right now, including some members of your New York, giants like saquon Barkley have been so outspoken in. In, reference to to the floyd situation have been so active on social media in speaking out. You know for police, reform and things of that nature, so we pretty much have to address that topic and we are going to do that today via an interview that I did with Lindsey Jones of the athletic who has been covering a lot of the athletes reactions to to the this situation, a lot of of what's going on with NFL players and players in other sports, so let's get to that right now. Here is an interview. That I did with Lindsey Jones. Right giants fans I am joined now by Lindsay Jones of the athletes. As we talk about. Some of the the protests and some of what's been going on in the NFL, and Lindsey has been doing some really good work at the at the athletic talking to. Pro Athletes about about what's going on so Lindsey. Thank you very very much for coming on to talk about this. Really important topic share had thanks for having me. Hey, so let's let's get right to it. I mean the big. The first thing I want to ask. You is through all of the the the things that you've that you've heard from. NFL players other professional players. As you've talked about this in and written about this, what? What has surprised you really about the reaction, or what really have you learned? That you really might not have known before you started all of this. I think there's there's a lot of layers to it. You know I think we're really going back. About two weeks now I believe George Floyd was killed. I think exactly two weeks ago. Actually in the video came out a day later, so we're just about at the two week. Mark here. And almost immediately after that video was was leaked, was published there was more backlash or more respond, not backlash backlash towards the police for sure, but more just more response across sports than we've really seen to two other incidents, and you know the it came on the heels of Ahmad Armory. Where we saw some player, activism and post messages there so it's just like been building. I think over. These last couple months. It's a really specific moment in time where there are no sports happening, so there's the the impulse to say. Oh, stick to sports or you know we want. We don't want this to be a distraction from our games or practices or whatever. There's none of that right now, so. I think there's a multitude of factors that we have to consider one is just how heinous the video was that there's no way that you could watch that video and hear what you heard on that video and see what you saw that video and not believe that it was wrong and I. Think just the fact that there was that video made it easier for a lot of athletes to speak up that maybe haven't in the past. It kind of became. A good entry point to people who have maybe not waded into this conversation before but in terms of like things that are new and surprising. I think initially especially within that first week it was the number of white athletes and especially white football players who were? Engaging in this conversation that you know it was. It was Carson Winston Zakar with the eagles. It was Derek Carr with the Raiders Jj, Watt were the for the Texans these some of the first guys who were who were speaking up Tom Brady. Signed off on the players, coalition initiatives and their call to action on in these are things that we largely have not seen before. It's been very few, and far between that we've seen white athletes can participate in this space. You know standing up side by side with their with their black peers. So that was really notable, obviously drew brees waded into the conversation last week, which was an interesting move that maybe we'll discuss as well and now it's kind of different conversation but you know I think just wanted the. You know it's it's been bigger than the NFL. It's been bigger than the group of athletes who have always been talking about this because they're a bunch of guys in the League whether it's. Guys were active when the players coalition you know, Malcolm Jenkins and Mario Davis and the mccourty brothers in New England. And then Kenny Stills Eric. Reed, who are not members of the Players Coalition Michael Thomas who you guys know well with with the giants who obviously just left, but he was. He's been involved in these conversations in this space for a very long time. So it's. It's more than just those guys, and it's a cross sports. Talk to us for story last week, I talked to WNBA athletes. I talked to professional tennis players. We're seeing collegiate athletes speak out numbers like we've never seen before where they are holding marches and rallies on their campuses and posting on twitter. So I think that it's really seems like. kind of a watershed moment in terms of player activism, and the thing that I'm most curious about and really want to know, and I've been trying to do reporting, but it's it's. It's evolving rapidly. Is What is this to look like? When sports come comes back and I. Think we've moved further. You know we're. We're further into that conversation here today on I guess. What is this June? Eighth than we were five days ago in my story published just in terms of how many athletes we think will actually engage in some sort of peaceful protests. What Roger Goodell has said. But yeah, it's it's kind of been evolving and I. Don't think this story is anywhere close to being over. You Lindsay. You touched on it a little bit, but that's kind of where I wanted to go. You mentioned the idea that right now. There are no sports except for except for for Nascar I mean the guys who make left turns only pretty much, but. But. What from your conversations, and just you know from from your your gut feeling having talked to people. Does this. We've seen protests before. We've seen some athletes speak out before, but this feels different. Does. This does this when we start to get sports back. Does this start to fade into the background, or does this have in your mind in? Does this have staying power terms of athletes really being involved out at the forefront of this and he I mean that is that is the million dollar question here and I really think it's you know. It's really gonNA. Be largely up to the athletes themselves. I think there's going to be a lot of onus. On the League's. That has now said a lot and put out a lot of statements to make sure that they don't disappear as well It's going to be about. Their resources financial. And their power resources behind. The things that they've talked about now. Where But yeah. I mean. I know that there's a group of players, the ones who've been the loudest and already the most active. They're not GonNa let this go day are going to keep talking about it. My big question is. The folks who've merely posted on social media. A you know especially a lot of white athletes. Where are they going to be in September and you know we might get a head. Start on this with the NBA. The NFL might NFL players might be able to take q a little bit from what NBA players doing. You know if they're engaging in some sort of protest store conversations while they're coming back and everybody's really paying attention to the NBA coming back We don't know if Major League baseball ever GONNA come back at this point. Actually how involved baseball will be in that conversation, you know we've actually heard from a lot of hockey players who can? This is a totally different space for hockey players. Which hockey obviously is. Very White and also very international sport, so the fact that hockey players have been speaking out and talking about racism within their sports and learning about racism in their communities and What's happening in America? I think there's opportunity there. I would expect that NBA players will not stop talking about this. I mean they have been among among the most socially progressive and active athletes across sports WNBA whenever WNBA comes back expect there'll be a leader in the space as well. And I think you know the leaders in the NFL space. I think they're going to keep pushing for this and the fact that we have seen so many players including star players are now involved in this movement. The NFL you know it was Patrick. mahomes was in that players video. Shawn Watson was in that players video. Ezekiel Elliott saquon Barkley. Michael Thomas the receiver from the Saints Who Organizer Tyrone Matthew. Mean these are some of the biggest names and stars in the NFL and they're not gonNA. Let it go and if they don't let it go, then that's going to hold the League accountable. You know that's the that's the other question. Obviously change. Begins with conversation, but when we talk purely about the NFL in about athletes, I mean you know it's it's not for us to decide you know what happens with policing in this country and all of that, but the NFL has its own issues with hiring of minorities. The Colin Kaepernick situation you. That sort of started the whole. The whole protest movement of a few years ago. You know obviously we talk about. Will players remain active, but in terms of the NFL do we have any idea at this point what it is that players are actually going to want from their league. We saw Roger Goodell's video. But again, and those were great words, but they're still words. Yeah, do do we know what the players are actually asking their leagues for yet or do they even know? Yeah I'm not sure if they one hundred percent now and we do have to be careful not to just like lump all players and together because you know, there's two thousand during the regular season, there's about two thousand players in the NFL, and so that's a lot of different interests will very much learn that. That during the negotiations back which feels like eighteen years ago, it was actually only march when the only pass really by a handful of votes you know I think one thing though that we hear from a lot of players, I think we're going to continue airing from a lot of players as they would like a more specific apology to Colin Kaepernick directly from the League It was the one part of the video that Roger Goodell didn't repeat line by line. The players in their video. They said that they request a they. They wanted an apology for silencing players. Roger Goodell rewrote that to say to apologize for not listening to players concerns on this issue sooner, so you know I think. A lot of players and I think there's a lot of people outside of players to. Human people who work within the League office of just something that we learned in the reporting of a story over the weekend. There's a lot of people who want acknowledgement of what happened to Colin Kaepernick and the League's role in keeping him out of the league since the end of the twenty sixteen season capper nickname has really been a taboo subject within league offices, and within most teams allow a lot of League officials team were subpoenaed and had to give depositions during their court case I mean. Net, but now it does feel like. Maybe there's a little movement that. You know on one end of the spectrum would be con- cabinet, getting signed and getting the chance to come back in the league and. Just show that he can play or wants to play or even be a backup quarterback You know I think another face that would just be some sort of actual acknowledgment that the league was wrong in the way that handled twenty seventeen and the player protest. I think there's a lot of players who would like more specific in explicitly written policy that says they are encouraged to speak their minds and peacefully protest You know I think. Especially in light of what trump has tweeted lately. It's important to just remember exactly what the policy is in place and in two thousand eighteen, so this was kind of a year, may of two thousand eighteen, so off season, after the two thousand seventeen season, which saw all sorts of rollercoaster with this where there was the one week that there were two hundred players doing some foreign protests. To other weekends where they're only handful and just much debate trump waiting in all the time, so that thousand eighteen off-season owners did pass a policy in which they said that players would be required to stand during the anthem if they were on the sideline, they have the option to stay in the locker room if they chose to and then teams who had players that did not comply. Or. That chose to kneel. Those teams could be fined, and they're in. It did leave open the window for player punishment. that was a policy that was passed without the NFL. PA and by that summer, so you know before the regular season kind of throughout training camp, they effectively tabled it. Added! Yes, policy passed. We're not going to enforce it neat. We need to have more discussion. We need to have the players involved in this conversation, and that really ended it. Nothing has changed in those years. So you know nose. Sort of policy has been enforced. No players have been formerly punished or fined. Multiple players have continued to kneel over the last couple of years so while. It has it. I WANNA make it hasn't been prohibited at also hasn't been encouraged and I. DO think there's you know a significant portion of the NFL player population right now that would like. Some sort of formal acknowledgement that takes should be encouraged to to protest if they want. The challenge there is that while Roger, Goodell has come out now and said that he encourages pet players to peacefully protest. He didn't explicitly say kneeling. The problem is that there's probably a lot of or the challenges that there's probably not a lot of owners, or at least some owners who might be in line with that sort of statement you know we know what Jerry Jones has been on the record saying multiple times of the last few years. you know I? Think there are some owners who would certainly support what what Roger Goodell did and follow mine with or online with what the players have been asking for. You know Jeffrey Lurie's a prime example of that Jed York in San Francisco But until we kind of hear that from ownership. It's you know it it, doesn't it? Roger Goodell's words are hollow by any means. It was really important for the commissioner to stay what he did, but the owners have so much power the owners Roger. Goodell's boss, so the one of these outstanding questions is how are the owners going to respond? Are they going to side with their players that have spoken in mass numbers, and so loudly recently or Will they do what they did? In two, thousand, sixteen, in two, twenty, seventeen and Ten of side with the president. You know the interesting thing and I was I was going to ask you in in, and I just don't think we know yet because we're. We're still three months away. Obviously when when Colin, Kaepernick, when other players Neil obviously. People. See that differently you know when they kneel during the anthem. Some people see the message that these players are trying to deliver other people only see. Disrespect for the flag. And so I guess the question is do we have any idea? Is it or is it far too early to know like you talked about ownership? Is there another way that these players are talking about or do? We have any idea? What this voice might look like in September. He and that's. Good I don't know there's a definitive answer there yet i. mean we did I think it was Stephen yesterday or over the weekend? I think it's my day. I don't even know what day or time it is right now. Eight Adrian. Peterson said that he was going to kneel You know. He's a veteran kind of respected player that he would kneel, and there's growing expectation that there will be a larger form of protests. Would that be something that just happens in week one. Is that something that would happen during the preseason? I'm not sure about of that I. Do know from talking to players over the last ten days, or so that there are a number of guys who are sensitive to the fact that the the kneeling and the anthem specifically is very. It's very easy to have that message distorted like you mentioned, and it very quickly takes away from what they're trying to talk about. But at the same time it is the ultimate form of peaceful silent protests, and you know over the last. Ten Days! How many times have we heard? From. Politicians, and pendants and everything saying well, if only they could protest peacefully. Isn't there a peaceful way to do this and look happen? Again was kind of the ultimate peaceful form of protest. It was uncomfortable for sure, and it made a lot of people uncomfortable. But. That is the point of of a protest. I know there are a lot of athletes who feel like they keep getting told well. Yes, you can protest, but not like that, and then you actually actually take to the streets while it will not like that, and then you. Know not like that or you wear a tee shirt. No, not like that so. I think there's going to be a lot of discussion and allow debate about what form that'll take you know. I wouldn't be surprised if we see players wearing t shirts that say I can't breathe or black lives matter and considering what Roger Goodell, said on Friday. You'd think he would have. They would have to be supported in that and whether that's that's pre-game type of stuff players are. Very strictly a regimented on what they can wear during games on what sort of like markings and how tucked in their uniforms have to be in how high their socks have to all that kind of stuff but yeah I mean I think you know I think they just want to make sure that the message of their protest is heard and. I do think that the conversation around it in the reason why? Is Much more understood now than it was a few months ago and certainly a few years ago well as you said I think that that any sort of change. Comes with conversation, and it comes probably with conversation. That's uncomfortable for for all of us and. You know what I've learned from your reporting, and and I think from from other things that that I've seen is. We've seen athletes in the past to have been a little bit hesitant to. To speak out to have their voices heard and I think that the overall message at least from you know from the NFL side is I think we've reached a point where players and athletes understand the platform that they have and that it's important to use it for more than lining their own pockets with money and I think that's a really good. At this point in time. Yeah one hundred percent, and it's really interesting to see You know a lot of these guys have spoken up recently. Especially, the guys who were in that video in the players video they were. Some of them were not even in the League at wouldn't com Cabernet started taking a knee for the first time in Patrick Mahomes in Colin Kaepernick have never actually been active NFL players at the same time same Shawn Watson from the twenty seventeen draft class so we're kind of seeing a new generation of players. saquon Barkley was not in the League at the same time as conquer nick. Nick at you came in after even after the two thousand seventeen season, which was such a pivotal moment, so we're seeing a new generation of players who have been on social media, almost their entire lives, I mean these are guys who probably got their first twitter and instagram and snapchat and everything when they were in middle school, and they're comfortable living their lives online and sharing themselves Sharing themselves directly with football fans and I think that's a good thing. You know as a reporter. Obviously you know I want to be able to tell the stories and talk to them directly, but we are in a position now where we can hear from them Instantaneously and I think that's better. That's that's. We're all better because of it. I think you're right. Lindsay and I think that's probably a good place for us to to call it a day here. Appreciate your your spending some time with US folks, please. You know if you don't have a subscription to the athletic. Get One so that you can You can follow the reporting that they're doing as. Athletes have their voices heard throughout the country, and and on these important issues Lindsey. Go ahead. Let people know you know where they can find your work on social media and all of that share. Yeah, you can follow me on twitter. It's by Lindsey. H Jones Lindsay with an a a Y.. Lindsey h Joe Biden's each downs. Excuse me on twitter, and then yeah, you can follow all of our coverage of the NFL and college sports on any of the sports that might be coming back at the athletic and. You know maybe connect following me. Can you know talk about Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley and company talk about talk about football real football. Football. What we will get back to that conversation eventually, but it is important that we use whatever platform we have to discuss. These things so appreciate your coming on. Shore I. Appreciate You inviting me on. Thank you so much. Have a good one thanks Lindsey or a giant spoons. That's our show for today. Thank you as always for listening. Please remember to subscribe to big blue. Radio on all of your favorite podcast applications check out our work on instagram at big underscore, Blu underscore view checkout work on facebook follow big blue at big blue view on twitter, and of course joined the website at Biglou Dot Com to participate in the discussion with other New York. Giants fans all right giants fans. Thank you for listening and we'll talk to you soon. Bye, bye! Hi I'm Brian and I'm one of the hosts of the Amazing Avenue Network of podcasts each week day. We bring you a different podcast that covers the New York mets from a different perspective, every Monday. You could hear me Steve along with Kenan Lucas on from complex cleans will discuss the mets minor league system every Tuesday on fermentable. Join me rubble. Looked back on the career of a less heralded Mitt. Hi I'm Alison and along with Maggie and Linda Pot of their own each week. We look at all things and social justice issues in baseball I'm Chris and you can catch Brian me chatting about the current state of the mets on Amazing Avenue Audio show every. Thursday, and on Fridays we have amazing, Avenue and conversation where I talked with interesting people about the New York mets. So check out the Amazing Avenue Family podcasts. You can get us on apple podcasts, spotify stitcher or your catcher of choice. And as always, let's go mets.

Coming up next