As a number of players have done across the league during the NFL preseason, Derek Carr made a loud statement with a simple gesture.
He put his hand on the back of a teammate – Khalil Mack – throughout the national anthem before his team’s preseason game against the Rams.
Derek Carr had his right hand on Khalil Mack's shoulder for the whole anthem pic.twitter.com/amlhCTp2Ah
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) August 20, 2017
“Any kid, any family, any adult that follows us or looks up to us, we knew their eyes would be on us,” Carr said. “We wanted to show them that it’s OK for a white kid and a black kid who come from two different neighborhoods to grow up and love one another and be best friends.”
Carr, 26, said the two are “not protesting” the anthem.
“We’re not doing anything like that,” he said. “What we wanted to do is show all the kids that look up to me, that look up to him that white kids, black kids, brown kids – blue, green; it doesn’t matter – can all be loving to each other. That’s what me and Khalil are. We’re best friends, and we love one another. The only reason we did that was to unify people and unify the people that look up to us.
“Obviously, we see what’s going on in the world. And obviously, everybody pays attention to the national anthem nowadays. We just said, ‘This is the best time to do it while still honoring our country,’ because I love our country more than anything. We’re free to live here and play this game. But we’re also free to show each other that we love one another. That’s the only message we were trying to send.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 20, 2017
Rams linebacker Robert Quinn raised his fist during the national anthem according to the Associated Press and Raiders rookie Shalom Luani was spotted kneeling during the start of the anthem but told reporters he was completing a prayer, not protesting. Marshawn Lynch, according to the AP, did not stand for the anthem.
The Rams won, 24-21.