Derek Carr: Hand on Khalil Mack during anthem was solidarity, not protest
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr denied that his actions during the national anthem on Saturday, in which he put his hand on defensive end Khalil Mack’s shoulder, was any type of protest.
Instead, Carr said he was simply sending a message of solidarity.
“What we wanted to do was show all the kids that look up to me, look up to him, that white kids, blue kids, brown kids, blue, green, doesn’t matter, can all be loving to each other,” Carr said, via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “And that’s what me and Khalil are — we’re best friends and we love one another.
“The only reason we did that is to unify people, and to unify the people that look up to us because, obviously, we see what’s going on in the world and, obviously, everyone pays attention to the national anthem nowadays, and so we just said this was the best time to do it while still honoring our country. Because I love this 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. And I think that that’s the message, and that’s the only message we were trying to get out.”
Carr isn’t the only player to do such a thing, as national anthem actions evolve a bit from Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling last season.