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- Dwayne Johnson says that if he were in the NFL, he would have joined the player’s protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
- He also harshly criticized President Trump’s response to the protests.
- Colin Kaepernick, who started the protests, remains unsigned by the NFL, as does the first player to join his protests.
In a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said that if he were playing in the NFL, he would have joined the player’s protests against police brutality against African-Americans and systemic racial inequality.
Johnson – a former college football player at the University of Miami – “would either have knelt or raised my fist in solidarity,” he told Rolling Stone.
It’s a striking comment coming from Johnson, a public figure not known for being especially political, given how much backlash the player protests engendered, including angry comments from President Trump.Johnson took issue with those comments.
“I felt like our president’s responses were being dictated by the noise and not the actual problem,” Johnson said.
He went on to call the protests “a cry for help: ‘As one human being to another, we’re having this issue that’s affecting our country and our little kids, and I need your help.’ And I think when human beings are in jeopardy, and they ask for help, good-quality human beings, whether locally or at the highest level of office, they help.”
In the NFL, the aftermath of the backlash to the protests is still being felt, as Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned. As does Eric Reid, a veteran safety who was the first player to join Kaepernick’s protests. Kaepernick has even filed a grievance against the league accusing the owners of colluding to keep him out of a job. And the future of the protests, as well as the role of the league and its players in advocating for social justice causes, remains a source of tension between owners and players.
As for Johnson, these recent political statements – he made an Instagram post in support of March for Our Lives – aren’t a prelude to any presidential run. He told Rolling Stone, “This is a skill set that requires years and years of experience. On a local level, on a state level and then on a national level. I have the utmost respect for our country and that position, and I’m not delusioned in any way to think, ‘Oh, absolutely, if Trump can do it, I can do it, and I’ll see you in 20-whatever, get ready.’ Not at all.”