A Heartfelt Protest of Montae Nicholson & the Washington Redskins

Chris Russell

In a world full of hashtags and protests, some loud and obnoxious, #JusticeForJulia took center stage at Redskins Park on Wednesday. 

Julia Crabbe, a 21-year old woman who passed away after a suspected drug overdose following an evening at Redskins Safety Montae Nicholson's home, is who they are honoring. 

Nicholson and the Washington Redskins are who they are frustrated with and demanding answers from. 

One of the questions they have is why the Redskins allowed Nicholson to practice the very next day at Redskins Park, just a few miles from where Nicholson and another man brought the victim to the hospital.

He then played two days later against the New York Jets after being cleared from an ankle injury. 

One of Crabbe's extended family members, Trent Ellis, a cousin, was wearing a #35nevercalled911 shirt with the message pointing at what the family says is a lack of urgency on Nicholson's part to get Crabbe help before she passed away. 

Included in the protest, as Ellis explains below was ringing a cowbell to shine the light on the troubling nature that exists over Crabbe's death. 

Her family, a gathering of around 20 on Wednesday, rightfully wants answers from not only Nicholson but the organization, which has steadfastly supported their player and employee. 

For Nicholson's part, he spoke last week to reporters for the first time at Redskins Park and explained why he played against the Jets just a few days after Crabbe's death.

"Really it was about Thursday or Friday. Friday most definitely. Friday is when I practiced," Nicholson said per Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press. "I felt pretty good, so they told me that they'll work me out on Sunday before the game just to make sure I was OK to go."

The answer by Nicholson was about his physical well being. The same type of answer interim coach Bill Callahan gave when asked the day after the Jets game why Nicholson was allowed to play. 

I'm not sure what exactly qualifies as tone-deaf but this might be a strong case of it. Nobody cared (sorry) about Nicholson's ankle injury. 

The questions were about why he wanted to play & why the Redskins felt it was right for him to play, even if he didn't do anything criminally wrong. 

"At the end of the day, it was my decision. I wasn't forced into anything. It wasn't easy at all trying to separate the field from everything that was going on," Nicholson said, per Whyno. 

Nicholson also added at the time that the death of his friend, Crabbe, has been difficult for him to process. 

"It's been rough, to say the least,"  he said. "But, you know, with my teammates and friends who aren't in the state or just aren't around here, the head office made it very well known that they have my back in everything that was going on and if I needed anything, just to talk or anything like that, they made that known that the door was wide open."

Another issue that Crabbe's family member, Ellis, took issue with (mentioned in the videos) was Nicholson wearing a clown mask this past Sunday. 

Maven & S-I asked Redskins public relations official if any official comment on the protest would be released. A decision has not been made on that issue as of this original publishing. 

The family says the protests will continue around the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Chris Russell is the Publisher of Maven & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621. 

Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.