Bruce Arians and NFLPA’s DeMaurice Smith Trade Words About Effectiveness of Protests

Arians has been a leading coach in terms of diversity within his staff

Bruce Arians Smith
Head coach Bruce Arians of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers speaks to the media at the Indiana Convention Center on February 25, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Following the week of player actions across sports in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that he hopes players do more actions beyond protesting, because “protesting doesn’t do crap,” in his opinion. That led to NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith firing back in a tweet, telling Arians to get better informed about the history of protests:

Arians then fired back at Smith, saying to reporters that he has seen enough protests to weigh in:

Yeah, I have a history, and it might be a little longer than his.

Bruce Arians

Arians has a history of embracing diversity; according to Yahoo Sports, he was the first white Virginia Tech player to room with a Black teammate while he was a quarterback at the school. He also is the first head coach in NFL history to preside over a staff where the three main coordinators are Black: Byron Leftwich runs the offense, Todd Bowles the defense, and Harold Goodwin is in charge of special teams.

This isn’t the first time Arians speaks out this year about the effectiveness of protests; back in June, the head coach said that he hoped actions followed the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd:

It’s one thing to march, and protest, but it’s another thing to take action. When the protesting is over, I would urge everybody to take action. Do something positive to help the situation. Don’t just go back to being silent, because then it’s going to happen again.

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