In the past week around the NFL, players, coaches and owners have been equally praised and criticized for their actions regarding the police brutality protests during the national anthem. Critics believe their actions are antithetical to the nation’s flag and anthem, calling them disrespectful and ungrateful. Supporters believe that their protests during the anthem are a perfect example of what the flag represents: Our freedom of expression about whatever we want, whenever we want it.
Whatever your feeling on the protests, there’s one specific criticism that some have hurled towards NFL players, and it’s one I think deserves direct refuting. Some have claimed that NFL players don’t care enough about this cause—or any cause—to actually do something beyond protesting.
This is unequivocally false. Players like Colin Kaepernick and Malcolm Jenkins have not only donated money to better their community, but they’ve also donated their time to make change on the community level.
So today I wanted to focus on one of those players on the Detroit Lions. And in keeping with what I’m calling Glover Quin Appreciation Week, I want to focus on the Lions’ safety, perhaps one of the most socially active players in the entire NFL.
While Quin wasn’t one of the eight Lions players to take a knee during the anthem on Sunday, he has spoken out about this issue before. He, along with Anquan Boldin, Johnson Bademosi and Jenkins, penned an article for CNN condemning the current criminal justice system and its unfair practices.
But Quin and his colleagues aren’t just putting pen to paper or knee to turf, they’re trying to make real strides in Washington to help out their communities. Back in November of 2016, Quin was among five NFL players to speak with Congress about what they could do to improve relationships between local law enforcements and their communities. He reportedly made a second trip to Washington this past March.
"I can take a knee and obviously show a symbolism or whatever," Quinn said during a race relations panel during Super Bowl week. "But for me, it's, let's go talk to some people. Let's use who we are. Let's use my platform. Let me use who I am to talk to some people to try to make some changes."
Quin’s humanitarian efforts go well beyond this issue, as well. After Hurricane Harvey devastated large portions of Texas, Quin, whose wife and children currently reside in Houston, pledged to donate to hurricane relief in a big way:
If you’re keeping score (2 INTs, 19 tackles), that means Quin has pledged to donate $11,900 already, and we’re just three games into the season.
Now in his ninth year in the NFL, Quin has fought for a laundry list of causes throughout his career. He’s held benefits for domestic violence victims, he rallied other Lions players to help donate over 36,000 bottles of water to Flint, he even helped raise money for his old high school, which was in need for funds to support a basketball team.
Quin is the perfect example of a player who refuses to stick to sports, and the world has benefitted from it. Thank you Glover, and keep up the amazing work.