Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
“I’ll be kneeling. I stand for what’s right. That’s the bottom line. I call it like I see it. I’ll definitely be taking a knee,” Murray told reporters Wednesday.
Murray called the peaceful protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd “amazing” and said it’s time to “hold people accountable” for their racist actions. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest attempt.
“If you have any racist friends, it’s on you to stop that immediately,” Murray told reporters.
Several NFL players have said they plan on kneeling next season, including Baker Mayfield and Adrian Peterson. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued an apology this month for the league’s handling of past attempts at peaceful protest and said it supports demonstrations. In 2018, the NFL attempted to institute a policy that would fine players for kneeling but received pushback from players, and the plan was never enforced.
Some NFL owners, including Jerry Jones, have been publicly against kneeling. Jones, who is friends with President Donald Trump, threatened to sit Dallas Cowboys players who knelt in 2017.
Murray is considered one of the best young quarterbacks in football, so his opinions and stance on kneeling carry weight. He said he feels empowered to speak his mind after trying to “straddle the line” in the past.
“I feel like now more than ever people can just say whatever they want to say,” Murray told reporters. “Before (George Floyd’s) death, we had to beat around the bush and straddle the line and be politically correct.”