Arian Foster and three others members of the Miami Dolphins (including former 49er Michael Thomas) took a knee during the National Anthem of their Week 1 contest against the Seattle Seahawks. After the game, Foster met with the media and discussed his decision.
Earlier in the offseason, Arian Foster had seemed to question the method Kaepernick chose to use. On Sunday, he clarified his statement, suggesting it was not something he would have thought to do initially, but it made sense and he wanted to help further the discussion. Here’s what he said, followed by the video.
I’ll make one thing clear. It’s not about the symbology that people are made about. It’s about the message, and it’s about who’s saying it. Because if it’s about a knee that people are upset about, every Sunday, people of faith take a knee to give thanks to their lord and savior. Whatever faith or whatever religion that they are. It’s not about a knee, it’s not about the symbology. It’s about the message. They say it’s not the time to do this. Well, when is the time? It’s never the time in somebody else’s eyes, because they’ll always feel like it’s good enough, and some people don’t. And that’s the beautiful thing about this country. If somebody feels it’s not good enough, they have their right. And that’s all we’re doing, is exercising our right.
Arian, a couple weeks ago, you said it wasn’t the right thing to do:
I didn’t say that.
You seemed to say you didn’t agree with how Kaepernick did it:
I didn’t say that either.
What did you say:
I said that I wouldn’t do it. And I wouldn’t take a knee, I wouldn’t have started that. But, I grew up a little different than everybody else. My father always made sure we were aware of social issues. And so, I’ve been doing a lot of work in the communities since I got in the NFL. And it just never dawned onto me to make a statement like that. That’s why I feel like, what Colin did, I also said I agree with him, and I understand 100 percent what he’s doing. I know what he’s doing. Rather than sparring with anybody publicly about which is the right way and which is the wrong way, I took my ego out of it and said, this conversation has started, once again. I felt like I had a responsibility to keep it going, because it’s healthy conversation. This is exactly what this country is about. We have people in other countries, that if they speak out, they get beheaded, they get killed, they get tortured. That’s not what this is about. If somebody disagrees with it, they can disagree with it. But respect that right to protest. Those same people that died and fought for our right to protest fought for your right to disagree.