Last week a few prominent NFL players put out a video urging the league to admit they were wrong in silencing players from peacefully protesting. The video also urged the league to “condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people.” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded and announced a massive donation on behalf of the league’s ‘Inspire Change’ initiative. Now analysts examined the importance of quarterbacks being part of the video.
On ESPN’s Get Up, Jason Reid said, “We know this is a quarterback league. We know that Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson are two of the brightest young stars in this game. And quarterbacks are the most protected class in this league and they dominate the discussion in this league and they are the face of this league.
“So with both of those young men. When they attached to that video project and gave a commitment that they were gonna do that. It fundamentally changed the discussion in the NFL quarters as a power. Because you could not be opposed to what these young stars, these guys, who are going to make the owners a lot of money over the next decade, 15 years. It just fundamentally changed the conversation.”
Former Defensive Back Domonique Foxworth, too, begrudgingly accepts the importance of a quarterback.
“Yea, I do think that the quarterback is a different animal in this league and they matter more than anybody else”
He highlights the importance of the QB and how they have immense drawing power.
“The quarterbacks move the needle, no one tunes in to watch defensive players or really that many offensive players. The numbers change when quarterbacks show up, the jerseys bought are quarterbacks.”
This, as per Foxworth, makes a quarterback’s opinion more likely to be heard and taken seriously.
“So when the most prominent quarterbacks are black and outspoken and even the quarterbacks who weren’t in the video. Many of them are black and outspoken on social media about these issues. When they have an opinion it matters more. I think the owners and the league have to listen more when the quarterbacks feel something. Because they are the stars, if you think of this as a television property, those are the leading men.”
Finally, he admits it is nice to see the NFL respond, and he echoes the league’s statement.
“People tune in to see those guys. I’m happy to see them taking their power and using it this way. It’s nice to see the NFL is responding to it, but I think more is expected.”
What do you make of the impact of the NFL megastars in helping the league change its stance on player protests?