We keep coming back to the protests that marked — for some people, marred — last week’s NFL games. We may seem them again this week, beginning Thursday night when the Chicago Bears face the Green Bay Packers.
New York Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh had some intelligent, thoughtful comments about the situation on Wednesday.
“Obviously I am all for being there for my teammates. I’ve never walked in shoes as some of the guys in this locker room, but I’ve heard their stories and heard what they’ve gone through. Obviously, I want to stand for the flag. That’s something that I feel very passionate about, my brother being in the military, but at the same time I recognize why guys are doing it,” Pugh said.
The Giants offensive lineman was outspoken against Colin Kaepernick when he began protesting by sitting during the National Anthem. Pugh feels differently now.
“I was against him when he originally had sat for the national anthem. I guess being a white man, I didn’t really understand what was going through his mind, what he was experiencing and I tweeted about it. Everyone was coming at me and saying, “you’re racist, you’re this, you’re that” I mean I guess it was more me not knowing what was going on,” Pugh said. “There is a conversation that needs to be had and I don’t know the right way to do it, I don’t know the wrong way to do it. All I know is that guys have the right to say what they want to say and that’s what makes America so great and I am going to stand by my guys in the locker room and be there for my teammates.”
Finally, Pugh said something that I think we should all reflect on. It boils down to this — we need to learn to listen to each other.
“I’ve learned throughout my years, I have to sit back and really listen and pay attention. If you don’t listen and see where other people are coming from and you are just listening with the intent of responding instead of understanding, it is going to cause problems and I think a lot of times that is what we find ourselves doing. Listening with the intent to respond. I am going to impose my opinion on you before I have a chance to hear what you have to say.”
That, friends, is a stance that should be applauded. And applied to our daily lives.
Apple Needs “Better Awareness”
Those are his words. The second-year cornerback was flagged for two long, damaging pass interference penalties Sunday. He was also involved in the final Philadelphia pass completion when he collided with Janoris Jenkins.
“Just having better awareness of the situation and seeing the way the calls were going, you don’t want to give [the refs] anything that they can easily call,” Apple said. “So, just getting your head around not making too much contact with the receiver because if you make too much, obviously that’s a flag.”
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