Ravens safety Tony Jefferson dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Tuesday to discuss numerous topics, including the player protests that have defined the 2017 NFL season.
“Everybody has their own opinion, and I have mine,” Jefferson began on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “I definitely didn’t agree with what was said by Trump, but at the end of the day, I realized this is the sport I’m playing right now, I’m trying to just focus on now, I want to get to the playoffs, and I want to try and win a Super Bowl. Everybody has different opinions, and apparently now in 2017 it’s not okay to have different opinions. I don’t understand why it’s a big fuss. Let people do what they want to do. I’m just trying to stick to football. I’m over it. It already entered the league, and it messed with a lot of people’s play. They were broken by it. I’m trying not to let it get it in my head. I’m just focused on football.”
Jefferson, 25, starred at Oklahoma and went undrafted in 2013. He played for the Cardinals from 2013-16 before signing a four-year deal with the Ravens in March.
Jefferson said that NFL players and teammates have reacted favorably to the protests, as well as the dialogue that has ensued.
“I’ve heard only positive things as far as how locker rooms are reacting to it,” Jefferson said. “I heard people are starting to find out a lot about each other when they’re talking about it, which I think is good. If you have everybody talking about it, that’s the point. I’ve heard nothing but positives.”
The same cannot be said across as America, however, as this issue reminds largely divisive. Even Jerry Jones, who knelt with players before the anthem in Week 3, said Sunday that any player who “disrespects the flag” won’t be allowed to play.
Jefferson had mixed thoughts about that.
“I’d definitely have to seek way more information when it comes to that as far as what’s really going on,” he said. “I’d have to know why I’m being told I can’t do something or what’s the issue. I’d have to get more in-depth information than that. But that’s a sticky situation over there.”
As for actual football, the Ravens (3-2) and Steelers (3-2) are tied for the division lead in the AFC North. Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions in Pittsburgh’s 30-9 loss to Jacksonville on Sunday, leading many to speculate that Big Ben is no longer an elite quarterback.
Jefferson disagrees – in part because Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a 26-9 win in Baltimore in Week 4.
“Ben is still an elite quarterback,” Jefferson said. “I’m not buying that (he’s not). We know how good Ben is and what he means to their team.”
The Ravens host the Bears (1-4) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.