Bucs' Bruce Arians, NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith Argue over History of ProtestsAugust 29, 2020
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith continued a back-and-forth over the practical power of protest Friday.
Arians was quoted Thursday as saying "protesting doesn't do crap, in my opinion" as teams around professional sports, including the NFL, began postponing games and canceling practices in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The coach instead appealed to his team to take action.
Smith retweeted a story about Arians' quote in which he included a photo of the late congressman John Lewis.
"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it's clear he is woefully misinformed about the history of protest both within sports and in America," Smith posted.
Arians responded on Friday.
"Yeah, I have a history," the coach said. "It might be a little bit longer than his."
Arians is the only head coach to employ a Black offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and assistant head coach, per ESPN's Jenna Laine. The former Virginia Tech quarterback also helped break barriers on campus becoming the first white player to share a room with a Black teammate—James Barber, the father of former Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber and former New York Giants tailback Tiki Barber.
Smith has yet to respond to Arians' latest comments as of Friday evening, but he further explained his position Wednesday following the Detroit Lions' decision to cancel practice to make a statement about systemic racism and police brutality.
"I have always believed in the power that comes from using our collective voice as a Union of players," Smith told NFL.com's Jim Trotter. "When it is employed as a positive act of support and solidarity in response to what is happening in our world, I know it can make a difference."