Cardinals admit concerns with game in London

Jun 6, 2017, 1:57 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2017, 11:28 am
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians and Larry Fitzgerald watch players during an NFL football...
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians and Larry Fitzgerald watch players during an NFL football organized team activity, Tuesday, May 30, 2017, at the Cardinals' training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Cardinals are scheduled to play the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 22 at Twickenham Stadium in London, England. Normally, that would afford players and their families a unique opportunity to travel abroad and experience another culture, but players are weighing that benefit with the potential safety risk in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in London.

Cardinals backup QB Drew Stanton said he does not plan to take his wife, Kristin, their son, Asher, or their daughter, Emeric, with him.

“That’s a real concern,” Stanton said Tuesday. “We’ve talked about it with my family and security is first and foremost. Initially when we found out we were going there, we were excited about it, but I think at this point in time, it doesn’t make sense for my family to go over there.

“I’ve got young kids and my wife. Putting them in that situation isn’t beneficial, especially since I’m not going to be there [with them]. I think everybody has a right to do what they want to do, but I just don’t want to send my family over there.”

Cornerback Justin Bethel’s parents like to travel with him. He’s not certain what their plans are for the London game, but their safety is on his mind.

“That definitely become a part of it,” he said. “They’re not always as safe as you are. They’re out doing stuff, sightseeing, so they’re at a different risk than you are because you’re more protected, being on the team.”

Safety Antoine Bethea said his wife, Samantha, is set on going to the game so he is trying to not to worry too much.

“At the end of the day, I’m pretty sure everybody, the league, they’re going to take as much precaution as they can take to protect the team, the staff and even the family members that are travelling over there,” Bethea said. “You try not to focus on it too much, but being a human and just being real and watching the news and seeing what’s going on, you can’t turn a naked eye to that.”

Some players or coaches are more accustomed to travel than others. Larry Fitzgerald has traveled every continent, including Antarctica, which may provide him a level of comfort that other players do not have, but Bethea said there really is no hierarchy of comfort levels on this particular trip.

“Regardless if you’ve been over there before, whatever the case may be, you never know what’s on the minds of the terrorists,” he said “Twelve-year vet, five-year vet, rookie, coach that has been coaching in the league 30 years, I think we’re all in the same boat on this note.”

All except maybe coach Bruce Arians, who adopted a steadfast tone when asked if he had any concerns about the trip.

“Any time you’re apprehensive and let ISIS or whoever it is change the way you think or what you do, they’re winning,” Arians said. “We’ll go and do everything we can to put on a great show. If something happens it happens, but they’re not going to scare us off.”

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