Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith traded barbs Friday over the value of protesting.
Arians made known Thursday he thought taking action was more important than protesting as teams canceled practice in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
“I think your responsibility is to take action. I don’t know if protest is an action,” Arians told reporters, according to the NFL Network.
“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.”
Smith responded to Arians’ comments on Twitter, writing: “Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it’s clear he is woefully misinformed about the history of protest both within sports and in America.”
The tweet came along with a photo of the late Congressman John Lewis.
“Yeah, I have a history,” Arians said Friday, according to ESPN. “It might be a little bit longer than his.”
Arians has his own history with social justice. He was the first White player to room with a Black player while at Virginia Tech. He’s also the only NFL coach with a Black offensive, defensive, special teams and run-game coordinator.