In the wake of the national unrest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, Redskins running back Adrian Peterson intends to use his platform this season for change. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, when asked if he planned to take a knee at games this fall, he said "Without a doubt." He added: "We're all getting ready to take a knee together."
#NFL great Adrian Peterson asked if he will take a knee at games this fall: "Without a doubt." Adds "We're all getting ready to take a knee together."— Greg Bailey (@GregBailey13) June 5, 2020
Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and inequality. A number of other NFL players joined him, drawing support and criticism from many. The protest has since waned, but Peterson expects it to come all the way back this fall.
Asked about potential fallout from taking a knee, all time great @AdrianPeterson says with conviction: "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 just what it has to be." #NFL— Greg Bailey (@GregBailey13) June 5, 2020
The outrage over the death of Floyd and other unarmed black men seems to have reached further and wider, igniting a national awakening around police brutality. In years past, multiple NFL owners pushed back strongly against players that protested during the anthem. Kaepernick's NFL career ended after that season and he sued the league for collusion (the two sides settled in 2019 - he is officially a free agent).
Maybe in the 2020 season, it will look and sound different. For Peterson, it's easy to understand why.
More from @AdrianPeterson on George Floyd's death: "It affects anyone who has a heart."— Greg Bailey (@GregBailey13) June 5, 2020
This will be Peterson's third season in Washington in a career that will likely eventually land him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He's one of the best running backs in league history and needs about 800 rush yards this year to get over 15,000 yards for his career.