Patriots safety Devin McCourty was one of a handful of players who met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and multiple owners - including the Pats' Robert Kraft - to discuss protests that occurred around the league this past weekend over President Donald Trump’s comments.
McCourty, his twin brother Jason, who plays for the Cleveland Browns, former Patriot Chris Long, now with the Eagles, and another ex-Pat, Jonathan Casillas, now with the Giants, were also in attendance for the meeting in New York. According to Casillas, nothing was decided about future actions; rather it was more a gauge on where all sides were at.
McCourty was one of the most outspoken Patriots players, taking first to Twitter and then to the podium following Sunday’s win over the Texans to explain his social media message and kneeling for the national anthem.
“We wanted to come together,” said McCourty, in part. “First and foremost, we hate that people are going to see it as that we don’t respect the military and the men and women that are way braver than us that go and put their life on the line every day for us to have the right to play football, and we know people are going to see it that way. Guys have family members, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters that serve, and they were really conflicted about it. But, we just wanted to send a message of unity and being together and not standing for the disrespect and different ways guys felt.
[There were] so many different things going through a lot of guys heads, and it was unique to see guys kind of come together and bond together as a group before the game and do that. But, I think all of us want a message that goes out of unity, being together, obviously as a team, and also as a fraternity of NFL players. Guys talk throughout the league about that, and it was great to be a part of a lot of guys trying to do the right thing. Obviously, it won’t be seen as the right thing to everybody, but I think in our hearts, what we focus on the most was that we were trying to do the right thing today. I’m proud of our guys and I’m proud of the group and the guys I get to go out there and play football with. They’re all great guys. They’re better people than they are football players.”
In Trump's latest comments about the NFL on Thursday, he said the league's owners were afraid of players.