Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon is the last Giants player kneeling during the national anthem.
“I stand behind my beliefs,” Vernon told the New York Post:
"At the end of the day, you want to fight for something that’s right. At least some type change that can help elevate something, you just see something that’s being pushed. I feel like it’s a small step, but it is progress.
I’m fine where I’m at right now. Ain’t nothing wrong with feeling bad for what you believe in. What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. I stand behind my beliefs."
Vernon said he hears boos and name-calling, both on the road and during home games. He has a simple straightforward message for disgruntled fans: “If they don't like it, don't come to the game.”
"You hear ‘coward’ and ‘stand up’ and ‘disgrace.' It’s fine. As long as nobody comes on the field and touches me. You stay where you at, you’re going to be all right.
They have a right. Oh yeah, I hear it all the time. If they don’t like it, don’t come to the game."
As reported by ESPN on Wednesday, the league recently submitted a proposal to players, committing to contribute millions of dollars to causes important to black players:
On Monday, the league submitted to players the final draft of a proposal that, according to documents reviewed by ESPN, would contribute nearly $100 million to causes considered important to African-American communities.
The NFL hopes this effort will effectively end the peaceful-yet-controversial movement that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started when he refused to stand for the national anthem last season.
Kaepernick, who is still unemployed, might now have other plans.
As reported by TMZ last week, a “well-known casting director” posted on a message board, asking representation of Kaepernick to get in touch with her.
The casting director is working on a new movie, which will star Boston Celtics player Kyrie Irving and former NBA legends Reggie Miller and Shaquille O'Neal, among others athletes.