Boston was a part of the team from 2014-16 when Colin Kaepernick’s protest movement was front-and-center in the NFL with Jerry Richardson as the team’s owner. Boston said it was clear that support wasn’t there at that point in time.
Boston, speaking with reporters on Wednesday, recalled a point early in the 2016 when the team told the players it wasn’t the place to make displays of protest.
“It just trickles from the top down,” Boston said, via Joe Person of TheAthletic.com. “It ended up being, the people come to watch football, they don’t come to watch protests. … You know that talk,” Boston said Wednesday. “From there, we were just advised don’t do it. They would put us in the community on Tuesday. After Tuesday came, we got no word, Wednesday came, no word. By the time it was the end of the season, we still had no word and hadn’t been put in the community.”
Fellow safety Marcus Ball had raised a fist in the air and pointed to the sky during the national anthem in a game against the Minnesota Vikings and was released two days later. Tepper has been supportive of the players’ involvement in protests since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the team cut ties with a long-term sponsor after its CEO was shown to have used racially charged remarks in an email.
Boston, who re-signed with the Panthers last year after seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals, said the difference in approach from the team has been significant and and welcomed.
“Times are different. We really appreciate that. I wasn’t a part of the (player impact committee) group that they have now with the social justice last year. But to see even that being a part of what Tepper is about and those guys making an effect in the community, I know we didn’t have that group back then. That’s what we fought for, that’s how we make a difference, and that’s how owners can help their players, when he’s matching us and putting up donations with the guys toward funds the guys want it to go to.
“Again, it means a lot to have a guy like that behind you.”
Tre Boston appreciative of support from David Tepper, Panthers originally appeared on Pro Football Talk