Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information

Cardinals Players Consider Ways To Protest Racial Injustice

Defensive tackle Corey Peters wants impact of message to be maximized

DL Corey Peters teaches rookie DL Rashard Lawrence a move during a 2020 training camp practice
Defensive tackle Corey Peters (98), here showing a technique to rookie Rashard Lawrence, said the Cardinals players are discussing various ways to protest racial inequality on the heels of boycotts in other professional leagues.

In an unprecedented move, players from professional sports leagues across the country have boycotted recent games to protest racial injustice.

NFL players haven't yet had that chance because the season doesn't begin for a couple of weeks, but the option is being discussed among Cardinals players.

Defensive tackle Corey Peters said numerous forms of protest have been bandied about, including the potential boycott of the Sept. 13 opener against the 49ers.

"There has been a variety of things that have come up, some more extreme than others," Peters said. "We have talked about a wide variety of ways to protest. Boycotting Week 1, obviously that is something that has been discussed. But I think as far as the next steps, I don't think we're there yet."

Coach Kliff Kingsbury, who canceled team activities on Thursday in deference to the racial equality push, said he had not heard about the possibility of a boycott from the players, but understands the impetus for such discussion.

"They're passionate about this topic, and they want real change," Kingsbury said.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson told 710 ESPN radio in Seattle on Friday that his team would have "for sure" refused to play if a game was scheduled this week.

Peters is one of many key players on the Cardinals who has been vocal about the need for reform in race relations. He said it's important to figure out the best way to protest to maximize the impact, believing there is a downside to a boycott.

"One thing some guys are concerned about – and I am as well – I think this is an excellent platform," Peters said. "Look at it right here. I'm sitting here talking to (the media) about these issues. I don't want us to give away our platform to continue to try to fight for change. Everything has to be weighed equally, and hopefully we will figure out a solution that is in everybody's best interest."

Left tackle D.J. Humphries said "it's an emotional time right now," and that the players want to make a decision that considers all angles.

"Whatever we come out with, we want to be organized and have a plan that's something to stick to," Humphries said. "Have everyone be on the same page and understand what we're fighting for."

No matter what decision is made, widespread backlash would be unexpected, which is a testament to the shift in perception this summer.

"I think about how far the times have turned in the past four years, since (Colin) Kaepernick kneeled the first time," Humphries said. "And how much more receptive everyone is to us having protests and us having opinions about this country, and how we feel. It's almost surprising to see how much the energy has shifted from being shunned for having an opinion on the country, how you feel about it, to it being highlighted, and you being pushed to the forefront and people wanting you to talk about it more."

Multiple NFL teams have released statements in recent days with specific actionable items they would like to see done to combat racial inequality.

Peters, who said the Cardinals' organization has been proactive in its support of the players on the topic, would appreciate a collaborative effort with the league.

"I'd love for the owners and the NFL to take a step up and really lead the charge with the players," Peters said. "I think one thing that's clear to me is that a lot of them don't fully understand the issues of our community. So I think it's going to really fall on the backs of players to step up and work with the owners and the league hand-in-hand to lead that charge."

During training camp, Peters' nightly routine was to watch the NBA playoffs, until that was disrupted by the boycott. It got him thinking deeply about race relations once again, and Humphries believes his teammate's experience is far from an isolated incident.

With so much of society shut down by COVID-19, Humphries believes the focus on the athletes' quest has been amplified, and he wants to take advantage.

"Sports is the only thing on TV," Humphries said. "Everyone is waiting to watch it, and when the leaders in the sports world take advantage of that opportunity and use their platform for something good, there's nothing but good things that can come out of it."

Images from Wednesday's practice at State Farm Stadium, presented by Hyundai.