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Former QB: NFL protest is the wrong venue

SALT LAKE CITY — A former University of Utah football player and NFL quarterback says while he understands why professional players are protesting violence against black men, he thinks they are using the wrong venue to express that opinion.

Scott Mitchell, a starting quarterback at Utah in the late 1980s, went on to play in Miami, Detroit, Baltimore and Cincinnati before he retired from the NFL. He now hosts two podcasts, Helmets Off and Rivals, which he co-hosts with former BYU defensive lineman Jason Buck.

“I think this whole protest, for me, is just the wrong venue to do it,” Mitchell told Brian Martin and Amanda Dickson on Utah’s Morning News. “It’s done nothing but create more division.”

“It’s your workplace,” he added, pointing out that radio station employees can’t stand in silence on the air without repercussions from their employers.

The debate over the NFL protests reached a new high over the weekend, as President Donald Trump criticized those taking a knee.


Mr. Trump has expressed a strong belief that the protesting players should face firing or suspension for failing to stand for the National Anthem.

“This has nothing to do with race or anything else. This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag,” he said Sunday.

Others, including veterans, have supported the NFL players’ rights to kneel silently as a form of peaceful protest.


For Mitchell, the issue isn’t about the opinions so much as where those opinions are expressed.

“I just don’t like taking personal views and putting them into your – into your work,” he said.