There are still many NFL players protesting social injustice during the national anthem, but some men aren’t able to join them against their will.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who has been outspoken about police brutality, appears on this week’s edition of Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons (HBO, 10:30 p.m. ET) and claimed that some NFL owners “have taken a stand and told players to do certain things, which I think is egregious.”
“There’s been owners that have told their players to do specific things or to not do specific things … regarding the National Anthem and the protests,” Baldwin said. “The one quote that I was informed of was, ‘You’re going to stand on the line with your hand on your heart and you’re going to sing the National Anthem because this is my stage.’”
Baldwin, who was mired in the league’s concussion protocol after suffering a hit from New York Jets safety Calvin Pryor on Sunday, also shed some light on the process.
Baldwin believes he could have faked his way back in the contest, but said he didn’t. Pryor said Wednesday that he was fined $25,000 for the above-the-neck hit on the 37-yard catch.
“I think there are a number of players who (fake their way back in),” Baldwin said. “It’s relatively known around the league and even the officials know that it’s not an exact science. We know the protocol so if you are cognitively there somewhat then you can cheat the system. But honestly I don’t know what’s a better way to do it.
“We’re waiting for that. We’re waiting for that information. And we still don’t know truly how to relieve these issues with concussions. Obviously, technology is coming out to try to fix this problem but I don’t think … we will ever fix these issues.”