Given the renewed activism and outspoken social-justice demands from NFL athletes, it could be anticipated that the upcoming season will feature players, possibly including the New England Patriots, demonstrating political beliefs during games.
According to Patriots running back/wide receiver James White, players are still discussing the best means to share their grievances at racial injustice for next season. Per NBC Sports Boston's Darren Hartwell, White said:
“I’m sure we’ll figure out something as a team … Not sure exactly what that will be, but I’m sure guys will peacefully protest in some type of form or fashion …
“I think it's just the amount of people that are speaking out … think when [Colin Kapernick] first started doing his protest, some people didn't have the courage or whatever it might have been to talk about it. I think the NBA, they made their stance on it, but a lot of guys in the NFL were kind of shy or kind of scared to speak their minds …
“But now, since … everybody is sharing their stories, whether they're white, Black, Latino — that's the way the world works. We have to work together understand and make things better.”
White, 28, was one of 17 Patriots players to take a knee in a 2017 matchup with the Houston Texans, per Hartwell. White and others were inspired after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was derided for kneeling during the national anthem over the course of the 2016 NFL season, eventually leading the quarterback not finding a new team to sign him despite once leading the Niners to the Super Bowl.
White and the Patriots now have to reckon with rejuvenated interest among professional and amateur athletes to use their platform to speak out against police brutality, an area of deep concern that was once Kaepernick's courageous decision to speak out against in spite of the impact on his career.