FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – If a New York Jets player followed the lead of San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick and didn’t stand for the national anthem, how would the team’s owner Woody Johnson handle the situation?
“I think I would have a conversation at that point with him try to find out what’s motivating that person to do that, that kind of protest,” Johnson said.
Would such a protest be an embarrassment to the Jets organization?
“I think I would go as far as saying, without answering hypotheticals, I think I would have a conversation,” Johnson said.
One of Johnson’s star players, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, called Kaepernick “a patriot” for not standing for the anthem to protest police killing unarmed black suspects.
“[Kaepernick], he’s one of the biggest patriots out there,” Marshall said Tuesday on WFAN, a sports talk station in New York City, “because he’s standing up for human rights.”
Johnson wasn’t asked what he thought of Marshall calling Kaepernick “a patriot.”
The Jets open their season on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
There will be a ceremony before the game honoring the victims, many of whom were from the New York City area.
“I think it’s going to be an unbelievably moving ceremony in honor of those people,” Johnson said. If a player refuses to stand for the anthem after this ceremony, that would cause quite a stir in the New York market.