Bill O’Brien is the only NFL head coach who’s publicly said he plans to kneel during the national anthem in 2020, but he might not be alone for long. Matt Rhule, who’s entering his first season as the Carolina Panthers‘ coach, told reporters Thursday that he’s considering doing the same as a way of protesting racial injustice.
“I would consider anything as we move forward,” Rhule said, per the Associated Press. “I’m supportive of the cause. I’m supportive of the movement. I’m supportive of social justice. I think for every person, coach or player, that will be a very personal decision. I think it has to be made at the right time and the right reason for everybody … I will support my players with whatever they do and then when the time comes, I will really think deeply about what is the best thing for me and what is the best way I can show my support.”
Most of the push for racial justice across the NFL, Rhule added, “has come from the players,” so he explained that he’ll “wait to see what direction they are leaning” in regards to potential on-field protests in 2020, “and then I will make my decision.”
Already a number of players around the league have said they’ll kneel, as former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first did in 2016, to continue dialogue about racism in America. Among those who’ve done so: Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and teammate Kenyan Drake, Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield, Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara and Chicago Bears safety Jordan Lucas.