Kenyan Drake Plans to Kneel with Teammates

Howard Balzer

Aside from the obvious, there are two significant reasons why Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake plans to kneel during the national anthem at NFL games this season.

One is the leadership of quarterback Kyler Murray. The other is that Drake regrets not participating when he was a rookie with the Miami Dolphins in 2016 when then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling.

Appearing on NFL Network recently, Drake said, “When Kaepernick was leading the charge, there was a lot of backlash and I personally feel disappointed for not stepping out on a limb and doing something that I felt like would be important to do.

“We all came together, but we all wouldn’t do it as a team. So, I felt like that if we didn’t do it as a team, then I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. Now I don’t want to use it as a copout."

Earlier this week, Cardinals center Mason Cole said the team would decide together what to do, but it surely seems like the trending feeling is there will be kneeling. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury also went on record saying “we’re going to support our guys.”

Left tackle D.J. Humphries said recently that the team would look to its veteran core leadership council, which mainly consists of nose tackle Corey Peters, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and cornerback Patrick Peterson on how the team should proceed. He also said he is grateful to play for an organization that will support his decision whichever way he goes.

Fitzgerald said that, with games so far away, it is hard to predict how the team might respond and that he is unsure of whether or not he will kneel.

Murray said recently he would be kneeling and Drake addressed that decision by saying, “Kyler obviously is the undisputed leader of not only the offense, but the whole team. To come out and be able to do that, obviously I respect him and I’ll be right next him doing the same thing.

"It’s something we all need to stand up for and, I guess, take a knee for."

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