New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long was a guest on ESPN Radio's Russillo & Kanell program Tuesday, and like many of his peers recently, he was asked to share his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick and the national anthem, a heated topic of debate lately.
Long said that he's had many thoughts about it but found it hard to speak on it in the press because it's a long conversation, and the media "might take 10-15 seconds out of your quote and take you out of context, and run with the narrative."
"But I'll make it pretty clear," Long said. "I support my peers in exercising their right to protest. This is a wonderful country, and I think everyone agrees on that, but there are things in our country that can improve."
Long went on to say that while his experience as a white male may be different from that of others, it doesn't mean that he is complicit in the problem; nor does it mean that America isn't a great place.
"If we're saying there are incidents of oppression in this country, systematically or individually in this country, I don't think saying, 'Well, in country X, Y or Z it's 10 times worse' is making things any better," Long said. "I think that may be true, but why can't we improve?"
Long thinks the most important thing is to have an open mind and be willing to listen.
"I play in a league that's 70 percent black and my peers, guys I come to work with, guys I respect who are very socially aware and are intellectual guys," Long said. "If they identify something that they think is worth putting their reputations on the line [for], creating controversy, I'm going to listen to those guys."
Read more at ESPN.com.