Cardinals discuss protests, say their actions will be ‘unified’
Following President Donald Trump’s comments criticizing NFL players who protest during the national anthem, members of the Arizona Cardinals responded on Saturday to questions about the team’s stance on such protests.
Trump said, among other things, that NFL players who have the privilege of making millions of dollars “should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag.” Frostee Rucker, a Cardinals defensive lineman with more than a decade of NFL experience, called the remarks “a shame.”
“It’s a shame that we’re still dealing with these issues, over and over and over,” Rucker said. “He somehow gets a pass to say these things.”
The Cardinals will battle the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football this week in search of their second win of the season. Still, those around the Cardinals organization know that lots of eyes will be on the sidelines before kickoff.
98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Mike Jurecki reports that the Cardinals held a meeting on Saturday morning that included a teleconference with team president Michael Bidwill. Head coach Bruce Arians told the media that the team has discussed the tense situation that’s been stoked by President Trump.
“It’s a brotherhood in this locker room, we’re out in the community, we know ourselves,” Rucker said. “We know everything we’re about. So, we can’t let one single person, even though it’s the president, dictate how we feel.”
Though he didn’t say so explicitly, Rucker alluded to the possibility of a large group of Cardinals players — or perhaps the whole team — protesting in unison on Monday should a protest occur at all. He was asked whether he knew if anyone planned to protest.
“I couldn’t tell you,” he responded. “I know guys are upset, but I know we have enough leadership and enough will to stick together and not do anything single-handedly. I don’t think anyone wants to be isolated in that, because it’s a dangerous thing when you’re isolated. If there is anything like that, it’s going to be unified.”
One reporter asked Rucker to clarify if he meant that the protests would be a “team thing.”
“It’s always about the team,” he answered.
Meanwhile, Arians didn’t seem to take exception to players expressing their views.
“That is an individual right of an American,” he said.
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98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Mike Jurecki contributed to this report.