“I wanted to do something besides talk on social media about it.” – Thomas on his decision to kneel during the national anthem on Kickoff Weekend 2016
“A lot of people just didn’t really understand what we were doing or why we were doing it. For me, it was more about change than anything.” – Stills
FNIA Includes Rodney Harrison’s Interview with Redskins CB Josh Norman, Oakland Raiders players’ comments on First-Year Raider RB Marshawn Lynch
STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 24, 2017 – Tonight’s Week 3 edition of NBC’s Football Night in America, the most-watched weekly studio show in sports, will feature an interview by Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy with Miami Dolphins WR Kenny Stills and S Michael Thomas, centered around the context of their national anthem protests dating back to last season, as well as their work in the local community.
Dungy’s interview with Stills and Thomas, and a portion of the segment which features an interview with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, were conducted prior to comments made by President Donald Trump on Friday night.
Football Night will also include an interview with two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison and Washington Redskins CB Josh Norman; Oakland Raiders players’ and coaches’ comments on RB Marshawn Lynch; and highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 3 games, ahead of tonight’s Raiders-Redskins Sunday Night Football showdown.
Football Night airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC. Mike Tirico will host Sunday’s program live from inside the stadium, joined on site by the Sunday Night Football team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya.
Dan Patrick hosts Football Night from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1, and is joined by Dungy, Harrison, and NFL Insider Mike Florio of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. Paul Burmeister will report from Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., on the Seahawks-Titans game.
INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from Dungy’s interview with Stills and Thomas, Harrison’s interview with Norman, and Raiders players and coaches on Lynch. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”
TONY DUNGY WITH KENNY STILLS AND MICHAEL THOMAS
Dungy: “Opening Day, in 2016, you guys and two other Dolphins made a decision to kneel for the national anthem. Take me back to how that started, what the thought process was.”
Thomas: “It started even before that day. That summer, just a bunch of different instances where there were unjust murders of young African-Americans, and I wanted to do something besides talk on social media about it. Right before the game, we’re going out there for the national anthem, going down the tunnel, I see (Dolphins owner Stephen Ross) walking into the locker room.
Stephen Ross: “I asked them why they were doing it, and when you hear the why-ing and the caring that they have and knowing how they think they can make a difference and be heard. I think, how can one not really understand that and encourage it?”
Stills: “People that I thought loved me and respected me and kind of turned the cold shoulder to me. A lot of people just didn’t really understand what we were doing or why we were doing it. For me, it was more about change than anything. For these instances to continue to happen and no justice to be served – I think within the week we had the town hall meeting, where we had law enforcement, we had local high school coaches, people that are involved in the community, was able to speak with them and talk about what was going on and how we could create some change.”
RODNEY HARRISON WITH JOSH NORMAN
Norman on where all of his passion and emotion comes from: “I go back from where I grew up – Greenwood, South Carolina. I feel like that’s all we did growing up as kids – ball. We did school work. We did all that. But Sundays, we went to church and after that (we) played ball. We played ball before church. We got in there and we came back out and balled. It’s all we’ve known. And that’s kind of how I am still today.”
Norman on being an aggressive and physical player but not crossing the line: “I’m going to let you know first and foremost, I’m going to be in your face. I’m going to let you know before we even start – this is how we play. This is how we’re going to get down. So, if you don’t want that game, don’t step on this field.”
Norman on trash talking: “It isn’t so much trash talk. It’s just the physicality of me stepping up like this (laughing) … I’m just up here locked in, focused. I’m not really talking to you. I’m just mentally going in and focused on what I have to do to hit my target.”
Harrison: “Do you feel like you get enough respect in this league? Because you got the big contract, you’re an All-Pro, you’re a Pro Bowler. Do you finally sit back and say, ‘you know what, I made it’?”
Norman: “No, I don’t say that because I still have more work to do. Of course I’ve pretty much accomplished all of my goals that I’ve wanted from the cornerback position, but the ultimate goal is the Super Bowl. I haven’t won it. I got there.”
Norman on how to tackle Marshawn Lynch: “That’s a big task, I feel, for any defensive back that has to tackle him…I have little tricks of the trade. I have them in my toolbox. Maybe I might pull out a tool here or there (tonight).”
RAIDERS PLAYERS AND COACHES ON RB MARSHAWN LYNCH
LB Bruce Irvin: “He’s brought a great, physical, hard-nosed mentality.”
Bernie Parmalee, RB Coach: The physicality – he looks for contact.”
Irvin: “Marshawn just added extra nastiness to our team.”
Parmalee: “When you have a guy that has that much talent and plays hard every play, you know you got something special. And he’s a special guy. “
OL Donald Penn on Lynch dancing: “Bay music is big and they had that music going at the end of the game. Man, it was a good time. It ignites the crowd. It’s swaying side to side.”
Parmalee on Lynch dancing: “The one thing about it is, we found out that he couldn’t dance.”
Penn: “He wants to leave a mark on Oakland before the Raiders leave, and he thought his best way to do that was coming and being a Raider and trying to get a championship here before we get out of here.”
–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–