Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence didn’t hold back when asked for his response to President Donald Trump’s comments last Friday about the NFL and ongoing protests during the national anthem.
“This whole week, it was all about the president’s comments,” Lawrence told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We sat down as a team and we didn’t want to sit here and make it about one person. Everybody speaks and, you know, they say what they want to say, but we’re not going to sit here and pinpoint that moment in our lives and sit here and make it about the president.
“Even though he’s the president, we don’t agree. We feel like that was some dumb--- s--- he said. I’m just being real, you know? We stuck together as a team and we wanted to show our unity today.”
On Monday night in Arizona, where the Cowboys beat the Cardinals, Lawrence and his teammates linked arms – along with owner Jerry Jones and the coaches – and before the anthem they all briefly knelt. They then stood with locked arms for the anthem.
Lawrence, who leads the NFL with 6.5 sacks, wasn’t the only former Boise State star to make his opinion known.
Running back Jay Ajayi was among six Miami Dolphins who took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday before their game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J.
Ajayi also wore an #IMWITHKAP T-shirt, showing his support for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who more than a year ago began protesting police brutality against minorities by kneeling silently during the national anthem.
Hundreds of NFL players demonstrated in some way before games Sunday and Monday, including locking arms with teammates, sitting, kneeling or staying in the locker room.
According to The Associated Press, only six players knelt during the national anthem the week before.
More players chose to take a knee in response to Trump’s remarks Friday night at a rally in Huntsville, Ala.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,’ ” Trump said.
On Saturday, Ajayi shared a tweet from the Miami Dolphins in which owner Stephen Ross called for “unifying leadership,” not more “divisiveness.”
“We need to seek to understand each other and have civil discourse instead of condemnation and sound bites,” Ross’ statement read. “I know our players who kneeled for the anthem and these are smart young men of character who want to make our world a better place for everyone.”
Ajayi said in the tweet, “A powerful platform can inspire & influence change for good.”