Giants owner speaks out on supporting players’ protest despite possibility of angering fans
Looks like New York Giants owner John Mara wants to be on the right side of history this time around.
Speaking with Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, Mara put his full support behind his players protesting and told his stories of speaking with the team following the death of George Floyd.
“I’m going to continue to support [the players],” Mara said, via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. “I understand the fact and accept the fact that that’s not going to be necessarily popular with certain segments of our fan base, but I think that’s the right thing to do. I will tell you this: One of the most memorable team meetings I’ve ever been involved with I guess took place right after the George Floyd murder. I listened to the players talk about their own experiences growing up, dealing with law enforcement, and to see the raw emotion that came out of them — I mean, guys got very very emotional talking about it — it was something that really was an eye-opener for me. And then to see how they’ve reacted since then, all the work they’ve put in their communities and local communities here is really gratifying and makes it easier to want to support them.”
Mara’s statement and support of the players protesting is a big shift from the stance he had in 2017 in regards to Colin Kaepernick and the protests that he started by kneeling. Back then he openly stated that the reason he wouldn’t consider signing the quarterback is because of his protest and the reaction his fanbase had given to it.
“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara said in 2017. “If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into.”
While some public opinion on the matter has shifted, the fact that fans will not be allowed at MetLife Stadium anyway may have an impact on Mara being willing to take a stronger stance now than he did in 2017.