Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake is the second member of the team to come forward and say he’ll be kneeling during the national anthem this season. Chris Cwik of Yahoo Sports reported on Friday that Drake joins the team’s quarterback, Kyler Murray, in pledging to go through with a form of protest that was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem in 2016, saying it was his way of protesting police brutality against minorities and other social injustices. His demonstrations eventually led to the 49ers parting ways with him and he hasn’t played a down in the NFL since.
This summer, the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter demonstrations allowed players in the league to shine a new light on why Kaepernick said he was protesting. Commissioner Roger Goodell also released a video, apologizing for not listening to Kaepernick and those who protested in a similar fashion.
While the league is striking a conciliatory tone, Drake, Murray and a few other players are adamant they will continue kneeling. Drake was a rookie in 2016 and has said that he regretted not protesting with the quarterback back then.
“I personally feel disappointed for not stepping out on a limb and doing something that I felt like would be important to do,” Drake said, according to Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports “But now, I mean… It’s something that we all need to stand up for and, I guess, in a sense, take a knee for.”
In an appearance on the NFL Network, the running back turned his attention to Murray and said his teammate is someone that other players look up to, and he believes there will be more players that take their cue from him in the coming weeks and months.
Cwik said he believes Drake’s willingness to take a knee will carry weight in the Cardinals’ locker room as well. The running back took over the starting job in the middle of 2019, and reportedly impressed his teammates and team officials. He’s slated to be the full-time starter in 2020. Cwik also believes Murray and Drake won’t be the only players in the league that will take a knee.
The analyst believes there will be players on several teams around the NFL who feel that kneeling during the national anthem is still something that is needed. However, as The Inquisitr previously reported, Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson has said he’s not sure the protest is one that brings a net positive anymore.