Bruce Arians tells players to take action, “protesting doesn’t do crap”


The Buccaneers were not among the NFL teams to cancel practice today in the wake of Kenosha, Wisconsin police shooting Jacob Blake, and coach Bruce Arians had some eyebrow-raising comments about the protests of the shooting that have reverberated through the sports world.

“Your responsibility is to take action,” Arians said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “I don’t know that protest is an action. I think each guy has a personal thing. I would beg them to take action, find a cause and either support it financially or do something to change the situation, because protesting doesn’t do crap in my opinion. I’ve been seeing it since 1968.”

But protesting is an action, and American history is full of examples of protests that made a difference, from the Boston Tea Party to the March on Washington. Perhaps what Arians meant is that words alone are not enough to effect change.

Arians himself has a strong track record for promoting diversity, and his Buccaneers staff, with two female coaches and African-Americans as the four highest-ranking assistants, is the most diverse coaching staff in NFL history. That doesn’t mean his comments about protests weren’t inaccurate, but it does suggest that Arians means it when he advocates taking action.