New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon has been kneeling for the national anthem for weeks. He’s the only player left on the team who is still doing it.
He’s been catching flak from fans, but he recently said he doesn’t care. If fans don’t like what he’s doing, he said they can stay home.
“You hear ‘coward’ and ‘stand up’ and ‘disgrace,’’ Vernon said, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “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.’’
Vernon’s own father is a police officer who recently retired after 25 years on the force. He worked in Miami after coming over from Jamaica. His mother is Swiss.
The star defensive end did say that he liked the progress he was seeing, even as he kept kneeling.
“At the end of the day, you want to fight for something that’s right,” Vernon said. “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.’”