Devin McCourty Discusses Reasons for Joining Players Coalition

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2018

New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty speaks to the media following an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday and explained why he has grown into one of the more proactive members of the Players Coalition. 

"Just hearing some of the issues," McCourty told Andrea Mitchell. "Earlier we got to go to Boston to just learn. Kids as early as seven years old are being prosecuted. So when we heard those things, I think a lot of us want to get more involved.

"From a team aspect, it's been awesome. I've been able to sit down with Jonathan and [owner Robert] Kraft and talk about some of these issues. We all talked about mass incarceration, we talked about trying to get equal education throughout the city of Boston. So it's been really good for me here in New England."

McCourty was also asked what he would tell President Donald Trump regarding protests of racial inequality and social injustice during the national anthem: 

"I think, 'Listen.' [Philadelphia Eagles safety] Malcolm Jenkins has a shirt, and he wears a shirt that says 'You aren't listening.' And I think that's been a key point. We've talked about different issues. Coming up in September we'll have a huge campaign talking about the cash bail system, where 70 percent of people are sitting in jail and haven't been convicted of any crime. So, I think if you truly want to get involved and not just throw out the idea 'Oh, these guys are protesting the anthem and the servicemen.' Actually listen to us and see what we're talking about. We've had opportunities to talk to some of those servicemen, and they've said that's what they fought for." 

McCourty, who is one of 12 governing members of the Players Coalition, joined protests of racial inequality last fall when he kneeled during the national anthem. He has since grown into one of the league's more outspoken social advocates. 

In fact, McCourty made an appeal to President Trump in June regarding the imprisonment of non-violent criminal offenders.

"Currently over half of the women & men sentenced to die in federal prison are for non-violent offenses," he wrote. "Mr. President, please use your voice to promote a proactive policy to end life without parole for non-violent offenses."

Last week, the Players Coalition collectively penned a piece for The Players' Tribune reinforcing its mission statement and emphasized it will "work to fight for meaningful change for as long as it takes."

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