Jets’ McCown wants spotlight to shine on players’ off-field work, not anthem

With all NFL talk revolving around the new national anthem policy, Jets QB Josh McCown wants people to focus on the work behind the scenes that doesn’t get as much recognition. 

McCown, who is a member of the Players’ Coalition, has been a big supporter and advocate for social justice reform. For one, he was one of a few Jets members that signed a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other officials calling for bail reform in the country. 

It is work like that letter that McCown wishes got more attention than the anthem policy. 

“The league, they make the decision that they make,” he told the Daily News’ Daniel Popper before the start of Jets’ mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. “I still think from a players’ standpoint, these are important issues and it’s things that, as players, we care about. And obviously the league has the right to make decisions that they want to make, but I think the focus is more on the work that’s being done and the momentum that we’ve gained from the conversation being brought to the surface.”

McCown added: “And so I think rather than get caught up on the decision that the owners make and all that stuff, I think it’s more important to continue to focus on the work that we’re doing and the good that’s being done and try to continue to do that and try to bring more awareness to that, because that’s all that matters at the end of the day.”

As for the bail reform letter, McCown knew he needed to put his signature on the paper because of the experiences he had this past year. He went on a “listen and learn tour,” where he sat through numerous hearing and met with public defenders to see just how unstructured cash-bail practices are across the country. 

McCown knew a change needed to be done, and he acted on it. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum and former Jet LB Demario Davis, who are also part of the Players’ Coalition, signed the letter to Gov. Cuomo as well.

“It’s just partnering with the governor’s office and just allowing them to know that we’re with them in wanting to see bail reform happen in the state, just because of the numerous amount of lives that are affected because of cash-bail and how unjust a lot of it is,” McCown explained. “It’s bigger than the conversation over anthem and stuff like that. But what can we do to help the situation? And how can we be a part of it? So as we looked at it and looked at the things locally that we could implement or lend our influence to, bail reform was one of them and it was, for us, what we thought would be a worthy cause.”


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