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Raiders veteran makes definitive comments about anthem protest

Raiders, Tyrell Williams

Count Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams among the NFL players who will probably be kneeling during the national anthem in 2020.

During a conversation with Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Williams said he wasn’t sure what to make of Colin Kaepernick deciding to kneel back in 2016, but now that he is older and more mature, his eyes have been opened:

“I wasn’t opposed to kneeling. I just never got myself knowledgeable enough,” said Williams. “I allowed the negative stuff surrounding it to not let me educate myself enough on ways to help change. The backlash that Colin was getting was a turnoff for a lot of younger players. I was nervous, I was 24, an undrafted guy that wasn’t secure in my position. And that’s no excuse. Looking back, I wish I would have made that jump.”

You can certainly understand Williams’ perspective, as he clearly did not want to potentially damage his standing in the NFL at such a young age. The fact that he was an undrafted free agent only further compounded that issue.

However, now that he has established himself as a solid NFL receiver, he feels he has the clout to comfortably take a stand:

“But now we are at a point where we don’t care about what the consequences of making a stand may be,” Williams said. “We need change, and we all need to get out of our comfort zone to make that happen. If you disagree with me taking a stand against racism, I couldn’t care less about your opinion. If I have to make you uncomfortable to force change, then that’s what I will do.”

Williams joined the Raiders last year and is coming off of a 2019 campaign in which he played 14 games and caught 42 passes for 651 yards and six touchdowns.