Linebacker DeMario Davis has shown great leadership for the 2017 New York Jets who are playing much better than most expected.
He’s also tried to provide great leadership in the NFL’s ongoing national anthem debate. Different players have knelt since the summer of 2016 to protest social injustice and racism, and it’s been hurting the NFL’s business.
Davis is part of a players’ coalition that has met with league officials on a few occasions to help resolve this matter.
On Monday, Davis graciously praised the NFL for making a financial commitment to help deal with matters concerning the protesting players. The league is donating $89 million over a seven-year period to various charities.
Unlike fellow players like Eric Reid, Michael Thomas and Russell Okung, Davis tipped his hat to the NFL for this gesture.
“The NFL has stepped up in a way that no other major league has, to help our hurting communities,” Davis tweeted. “We’ll take every helping hand that we can get. This problem needs more than the NFL though, it will take everyone because it affects everyone.
“This partnership is unprecedented. Thank you to the NFL for being a leader in society. Being willing to help fix problems that have existed in our country for far too long. This is just the beginning.”
While Davis showed gratitude, Reid, Thomas and Okung blasted the NFL.
Reid, a San Francisco 49ers safety, called the deal “a charade.”
“I feel like I would be a hypocrite not to use my platform to speak up for people who are facing oppression in this country,” Reid told Slate. “I did it and I still do it because I believe it’s worth letting people know that if we do this together, if we stand up together we can make change.”
Reid also told Slate, “the end isn’t in sight in this country” to systematic oppression of minorities.
Okung, a Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle, called the deal a “farce.”
“This goes beyond dollars and cents,” Okung told the Los Angeles Times. “It goes beyond allocating funds from other initiatives that are just as important. It’s going to take a real commitment of us, leveraging the platform of the players and empowering us to really talk about these issues, police engagement and brutality.”
Thomas, a Miami Dolphins safety, doesn’t think it’s enough.
“I think way more could be done,” Thomas told the Sun-Sentinel. “If we just get a statement saying, ‘Yes, we support our players and the cause that they’re fighting for, and we agree something needs to be done,’ and it genuinely comes from the league, we’ve … told them we’ll stand. We’ve seen no such thing.”
So while Davis showed appreciation for the NFL’s financial commitment, which they weren’t obligated to do, others showed no gratitude. And to use a football expression, will likely continue “to move the goal posts.”