Raiders' Derek Carr says Khalil Mack gesture not a protest

Sporting News
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Derek Carr isn't protesting, but he is taking a stand.

When the Raiders quarterback placed his hand on teammate and defensive end Khalil Mack's shoulder before Saturday night's game against the Rams, he did so with the intention of spreading positivity and hope that others can look beyond their differences and stand together.

"What we wanted to do was show all the kids that look up to me, look up to him, that white kids, blue kids, brown kids, blue, green, doesn't matter, can all be loving to each other," Carr said, via ESPN. "And that's what me and Khalil are — we're best friends and we love one another.

"The only reason we did that is to unify people, and to unify the people that look up to us because, obviously, we see what's going on in the world and, obviously, everyone pays attention to the national anthem nowadays, and so we just said this was the best time to do it while still honoring our country. Because I love this country, more than anything. We're free to live here and play this game, but we're also free to show each other that we love one another. And I think that that's the message, and that's the only message we were trying to get out."

Mack reiterated Carr's reasoning, saying he wants to use his position as a platform to share his message with others in the hope that some will meet it with understanding.

"To show [that] different races can get along, white, black, whatever you are, get along and be friends and ... just show unity," Mack said. "Show togetherness. It's discussed a lot. It's one of the things I feel passionately about, but I just don't like the attention, the attention that comes with it. But at the same time, just using my platform for positivity is what's important for me."



Outside of Oakland, the gesture was echoed by other players around the league. Seahawks center Justin Britt placed his arm on teammate Michael Bennett's shoulder on Friday night, and Eagles defensive end Chris Long put his hand on teammate Malcolm Jenkins' shoulder on Thursday night as a sign of harmony.

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