On a day where Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said his team wouldn’t be playing this weekend if there were games scheduled, Cardinals nose tackle Corey Peters acknowledged a Week 1 strike has been discussed by the team.
Directly asked whether that has been talked about, the franchise's player rep said, “Just in some of our private conversations, there's been a variety of things that come up, some more extreme than others. But we've talked about a wide variety of ways to protest and a boycott in Week 1, obviously, that's something that has been discussed. But I think as far as the next steps, I don't think we're there yet. We're still trying to talk with some of the leaders on the team and trying to figure out what's the best way to make the biggest impact.
“One thing that I think some guys are concerned about, and I am as well, is I think this is an excellent platform. Look at me right here, sitting here talking to you guys right now about these issues. And I don't want us to give away our platform to continue to try to fight for change. So I think everything has to be weighed equally. And hopefully we will figure out a solution that is in everybody's best interest.”
Cardinals left tackle D.J. Humphries cautioned about reacting when emotions are raw.
He said, “There's so many options, and it's such an emotional time right now that the group of guys that we got in the locker room, we want to make sure that we make a well thought-out choice on whatever we decide to do. And show our solidarity as a unit. We don't want to just jump out there all emotional and have to worry about what comes with it and what we're not prepared for.
“And then whatever we come out with, we want to be able to be organized and have a plan and something to stick to and understand. (We need) everybody to be on the same page and understand what we're fighting for so we can continue to move forward and have progress.”
The Ravens laid out a specific plan of attack for change Thursday and the Vikings did the same Friday. Along those lines, Humphries said it’s important for players to collaborate with front-office leaders to make things happen.
“I think that's great,” he said. “Bringing the attention is always the first step and getting the attention. And then once we have the attention, it's communicating what we want and what we would like to see and how we can further use this platform now that we have the attention from the country.”
Humphries noted that began with the NBA because “they grabbed the entire country's attention and you can't talk about basketball anymore, you have to talk about the issues and the world can see Black men on camera being emotional about the fears that they have in this world and the days that they've gone through in their experiences.
“I think that's something that's almost been a blessing in disguise. Being in this time and that sports is the only thing that's on TV and they're waiting, everyone's waiting to watch it. When the leaders in the sports world take advantage of that opportunity and really use their platform for something good, nothing but good days can come out of it.”
Peters noted the balance of raising awareness while also getting ready for a season that’s two weeks away.
He said, “We've talked about a number of things as players, some of the leaders on the team. I'm happy that the organization has decided to be proactive and to try to provide opportunities for us to discuss these issues and be sensitive to them. Moving forward, it's going to be a joint task (force) between some of the leaders on the team and just figuring out different things that we want to do to get to the issues that are important to us.
“Obviously, it's a heavy period of time. A lot of us are feeling kind of isolated, being in training camp and spending a lot of time in meetings and not really connected to the outside world. But these issues are really heavy on our hearts. And so it's something that we spent a lot of time talking about, outside of actual football.”