EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Coach Ben McAdoo has talked with Giants players about making a statement on social injustice in the wake of police shootings in Oklahoma and North Carolina, but something other than kneeling or sitting for the national anthem.
The rookie coach neither identified the players he spoke with Wednesday nor did he say what type of action was being considered.
No Giants players have sat or knelt during the playing of the national anthem either in the preseason or at the opening two games of the NFL regular season. There was also no indication any of them would protest Sunday when the Giants will be home to play the Washington Redskins.
“They’re conflicted and they want to make a difference,” McAdoo said of his meeting with the players. “The league is a platform to make a difference. I encourage them to. I would like to be involved in that. Anything I can do to help.
“Still, I feel that you can make a difference outside of the anthem. We can do something together to make a difference. It doesn’t have to involve the national anthem. I still believe that you pay tribute to the people that sacrifice their lives so that we can coach and play in this great game.”
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the anthem protest that other NFL players and athletes in other sports have since joined.
McAdoo said he would not stop any player who wanted to join that protest.
“That’s their freedom,” McAdoo said. “I just want an open dialogue, something that we can do together as a team to make a difference.”
Running back Rashad Jennings wanted the team to do something seen as more than a gesture that many view as disrespect for the sacrifices of those who defend the country. He wanted the protest to be seen as opposition to oppression and injustice.
Cornerback Janoris Jenkins said he felt a little powerless when he heard about the recent shootings.
“They have to get that fixed, to the top, start with the president or whatever,” he said. “Man, you just drop your head and move on and hope that one day there will be a change.”
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said he would stand for the anthem. He said what others do is up to them.
“Don’t be a follower, be a leader,” Pierre-Paul said. “Do what you want to do.”