Brett Favre Discusses Kneeling, Equality and Camaraderie Inside NFL Locker Rooms

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2020

Former Green Bay Packers' Brett Favre smiles as he arrives for a halftime ceremony of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre doesn't have a problem with players kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest but is afraid the act could divide a locker room.

The 20-year NFL veteran reflected on his time in the league and discussed the ongoing movement for social justice, via Scott Gleeson of USA Today:

"I know from being in an NFL locker room for 20 years, regardless of race, background, money you grew up with, we were all brothers it didn’t matter. Guys got along great. Will that be the same (with kneeling scenario)? I don't know. If one guy chooses to stand for his cause and another guy chooses to kneel for his cause, is one right and the other wrong? I don't believe so. We tend to be fixed on highs.

"I don't know what it's like to be Black. It's not for me to say what's right and what's wrong. I do know we should all be treated equal. If you can't do that, you shouldn't be in America."

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem in 2016 but faced significant backlash and has been out of the league for the past three seasons.

The discussion has been renewed this offseason following the worldwide protests against racial inequality that occurred after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed in police custody.

Even though it's against league rules, several NFL players have already said they will kneel during the upcoming season, including Adrian Peterson and Kyler Murray.

Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted he was wrong about not listening to players in the past and encouraged everyone to protest peacefully.

The question is what it will do to the locker rooms, especially after Drew Brees was criticized earlier this offseason for saying kneeling was "disrespecting the flag."

In 2017, Pittsburgh Steelers tackle and former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva stood for the flag against his team's wishes but later apologized for making his teammates look bad in the process.

"There's no right answer," Favre said about the protests. "Other than, the right answer is that we all get along. It seems like the more people try the more damage is done."