Redskins running back Adrian Peterson says he will “without a doubt” take a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice following George Floyd’s death.
There have been nationwide protests in the United States after Floyd — a 46-year-old black man — died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Former officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck during an arrest. Floyd was crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first player to kneel during the anthem in protest against police brutality and racial injustice, doing so in 2016. Kaepernick opted out of his contract the following year. He remains out of the NFL.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees said last week that players who knelt during the anthem were “disrespecting the flag.” Those comments which sparked fierce backlash and led to multiple apologies by Brees.
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Peterson — a former teammate of Brees in New Orleans and a former star in Minnesota with the Vikings — told the Houston Chronicle on Friday: “Just four years ago, you’re seeing [Colin] Kaepernick taking a knee, and now we’re all getting ready to take a knee together going into this season, without a doubt.”
“Yeah, without a doubt, without a doubt,” the 2012 NFL MVP replied when asked if he personally planned to take a knee.
“We’ve got to put the effort in as a group collectively,” Peterson said. “Are they going to try to punish us all? If not, playing football is going to help us save lives and change things, then that’s what it needs to be.”
Peterson, who moved to Washington from the Cardinals in 2018, rushed for 898 yards and five touchdowns last season.