Offensive Line Didn’t Conspire Against Derek Carr But There’s Still Something To The Story
The offensive line may not have conspired against Derek Carr, but it doesn’t mean the Raiders locker room wasn’t challenged by the protests that took place before the Washington game.
While players took to social media to denounce rumors that the offensive line wanted Carr injured for not protesting, Raiders play-by-play voice Greg Papa hinted on Tuesday that the story doesn’t necessarily end there.
“I do know there were some unsettled feelings,” Papa said Tuesday on 95.7 The Game.
“I don’t know. I will just tell you they were really going back and forth on exactly what they wanted to do that night… everybody’s got their own personal feeling on how they want to handle the national anthem.”
The anthem protests have become one of the league’s real challenges from a public relations standpoint, but they’ve also tested locker rooms.
Carr said long ago that he would always stand for the anthem, but what about African-American players who, like Carr, chose to offer their support by means other than sitting during the anthem?
If there was a certain amount of expectation placed on Carr, imagine the range of emotions that Cory James and Nicholas Morrow (who both stood) must have felt.
The perception exists (as everyone saw on Tuesday) that standing for the anthem isn’t showing support and it’s what makes the protests so difficult for teams and players to navigate.
What the national anthem represents to one, it may not represent to another. For some, the anthem represents the good in America. For others, it’s a reminder of the bad.
For the Raiders, a delicate decision was made on the fly (they decided on the protest very shortly before the anthem) and it sounds like the team navigated the situation reasonably well.
Would it have been more unifying if the entire team had been sitting in Washington? Of course there are teammates who would have felt that way. But why would we expect Carr or anyone else to compromise their convictions to show a means of support that was chosen for them?
There’s no doubt that each member of the team is against social injustice (although the week 3 protests seemed to be more about free speech) and it’s unfortunate that Carr, or anyone else, would be deemed a racist just because he chose to show support by means other than sitting during the national anthem.