Former Jets OL D'Brickashaw Ferguson still gets asked if would kneel during the national anthem despite being out of the NFL today.
Well, he broke that silence on Monday when he penned an article addressing that exact question. Ferguson began his piece by noting his thoughts about the anthem protests reached its peak while watching the Jets against the Dolphins last season.
He saw how the entire team locked arms on the sideline, and wondered what he could do.
"I was filled with a mixture of emotions that I couldn't make sense of, unsure of the right course of action to be taken," he wrote. "The act of kneeling was never intended to disrespect our military, but rather bring awareness of the alarming incidences of police brutality and social injustice in our country, but what did kneeling mean at this point?"
Ferguson added that former 49ers S Eric Reid, who has been vocal with his anthem protests like former teammate Colin Kaepernick, got him thinking even more after reading his interview in GQ Magazine. Reid, along with Kaepernick, has a collusion grievance filed against the NFL as he remains a free agent because of his protesting.
"In last year's November issue of GQ magazine, I read something that Eric Reid said that really caused me to pause and think about how I am honestly living out my faith. "The Bible talks very explicitly in Proverbs about being the voice of the voiceless and speaking up for the vulnerable. Another verse is: 'Faith without works is dead.' I guess selfishly I'm trying to get to heaven," Ferguson said.
"When I read this, I felt convicted. As a believer, I knew that I could never say that this was an issue that I wasn't called to be involved in."
So, what would Ferguson do if he was still playing? He wouldn't say it directly, but he said he hoped he would have the courage to be an outlier among the rest of the NFL.
"I am no longer playing in the NFL, but if I were I hope I would resist the urge to play it safe by standing and blending in with the masses," Ferguson said.
If he was still playing for the Jets, Ferguson would have a very supportive owner in Christopher Johnson, who has been very open with his players regarding social and racial injustice issues. Ferguson also touched on The Players Coalition, which has players like Josh McCown and Kelvin Beachum on the list of NFLers pushing for changes in their community.
Johnson, along with his players and former Jet Demario Davis, recently sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call for bail reform.
Ferguson also acknowledged Johnson for saying he would pay any fines for his players who decide to kneel this season.
"I am proud to have been a part of New York Jets organization, that while the debate of kneeling is still present, supports its players who decide to kneel , and whose ownership is willing to pay any fine as a result of it," he said.
Ferguson spent his entire 10-year NFL career with the Jets from 2006-2015, where he was a three-time Pro Bowler.