The NFL Players Association expressed its support Thursday for Muslim players in the league amid the controversy generated by President Trump’s immigration order. NFLPA officials said the union reached out to the families of Muslim players in the NFL at the behest of Eric Winston, the veteran offensive lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals who serves as the union’s president.
About 15 players and their families were contacted, a union official said. “At Eric’s direction, we notified and sent information to all of those families who are members of the National Football League just to tell them that if they need anything from their union that we’re there 100 percent,” said DeMaurice Smith, the NLFPA’s executive director.
Winston expressed strong support publicly on Thursday for the league’s Muslim players. That came a day after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell declined to express a view on the Trump administration’s order temporarily banning entry into the U.S. for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from around the world.
“Our Muslim brothers that are in this league, we have their backs,” Winston said. “And that’s it. And we’re gonna do whatever we can. I’ll go stand with them. If people want to come to our house or family or whatever, I’ll be there with them. It’s simple. But the idea that — and not to get too broadly into this—but we’re starting to turn away from our values as a country. But these guys that are players in the National Football League, their families are our families. And I take that seriously…Winston spoke at the union’s annual news conference during Super Bowl week. Winston also said during Thursday’s news conference that there must be better compliance with the NFL’s concussion protocols.
The Miami Dolphins were cited by the league and union for failing to comply fully with the concussion protocol with their handling of a case involving quarterback Matt Moore during the AFC playoffs. Moore left a game in Pittsburgh after absorbing a hit to his jaw but was allowed to return after only one play. The NFL and NFLPA found that Moore should have been taken to the locker room for further evaluation.
Source: The Washington Post