NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Giants coach Ben McAdoo says he’s not worried that a potential pregame protest by players could prove to be a distraction in the lockerroom.
Some Giants players say they’re considering joining Colin Kaepernick’s protest during the national anthem. The 49ers quarterback has refused to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner,” citing racial injustice and police brutality.
WFAN’s Mike Francesa asked McAdoo on Thursday whether he had any concerns that a protest could cause divisiveness among his players.
“No, I think we have a tremendous lockerroom, a strong lockerroom, a lockerroom full of character,” McAdoo said. “And I think they recognize differences in opinion. And we’ve talked about that as soon as we got to training camp, about choosing empathy over judgment when it comes to society and the issues we’re facing. And I think they bought into the message.”
After saying in August he would be “disappointed” with players who protested during the national anthem, McAdoo has changed his tune.
“I think it’s a great privilege to coach and play in this league, and the league can be a great platform for you as a player,” he said. “And that’s really the conversation I had with a few guys. And I encourage them to use the platform. I told them I’d like to be involved, too, in something that we could do together to help our communities and help bridge any gaps that we can bridge out in the community and bring people together and open lines of communication and be a positive influence.
“I did express my concern for the anthem, and I choose to stand for the anthem and show respect for all the people who sacrificed their lives so we can play and coach this great games. But it is a freedom that the players do have.”
To listen to the full interview with McAdoo, in which he also discusses the Giants’ win over the Saints and their game this Sunday against the Redskins, click on the audio player above.