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‘I stand for what is right’: Cardinals’ Murray will kneel during anthem

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray said he plans to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and social injustice. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Typically soft-spoken, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray didn’t pause when asked Wednesday about the possibility of kneeling during the national anthem this season.

“Yeah, I will be kneeling. Like I said, I stand for what is right and that’s the bottom line,” he said. “You know, I call it like I see. What’s been going on is completely lost.” 

On a call with media members, Murray addressed protests around the country addressing police brutality, initially triggered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

In order to keep making positive strides in a difficult time, he said, people need to hold others responsible for their actions.

“It’s not enough to just, not be racist. We got to be anti-racist,” he said. “You got to hold everybody accountable because at the end of the day, that’s really what it comes down to is everyone holding each other accountable.” 

The Dallas community he grew up in is mostly Black and Hispanic, Murray said. He added that he has never experienced police brutality but said his older brother has encountered issues with law enforcement.

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury recently said he is happy his players are finding their voices and speaking out.

“I know when I walk in that room and see the players in our team meeting, I am inspired by them. I am enlightened by them and their life experiences,” Kingsbury said.

The action of taking a knee in the NFL was spotlighted in 2016 as a stand against police brutality and racism that was impacting the Black community. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick attracted national attention for doing it during the preseason, sparking national debate that proved divisive.

Criticism endured. Kaepernick became a free agent at the end of the 2017 season and has not been signed to another team.

Murray said he believes the diversity of his generation has tempered racism, especially when compared to the era of his parents. He has found the many peaceful protests inspiring.

“I feel like we will have change,” he said. “Whether it takes years, I feel like we’re getting there. At least, you know, making a major step towards it.”

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