Ever since the Milwaukee Bucks refused to come out of the locker room for Game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic, other teams and other leagues have followed suit. The Bucks decided not to play Wednesday in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake last Sunday in Wisconsin. Other teams followed suit, and no NBA games were played until Saturday. Some Major League Baseball teams and the NHL also postponed games, leaving a question whether or not NFL teams would do the same. Houston Texans tight end Jordan Akins was asked that question, and he said he has no plans of sitting out.
Who is Jordan Akins?
After graduating from Union Grove High School in Georgia, Jordan Akins committed to play football at the University of Central Florida. Akins, a 6-foot-3, 192-pound tight end back then, was recruited by big schools such as LSU and Georgia but settled on UCF. Upon graduation, Akins was selected by the Texas Rangers in the third round of the 2010 MLB draft as an outfielder.
Akins elected to play baseball. He played four years of pro ball but never made it above the A level after hitting .218 in his four seasons. In 2014, he became a freshman at UCF and played in 10 games. He caught 12 passes for 135 yards and also returned 15 kickoffs for 363 yards.
Akins was a medical redshirt in his sophomore year after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the third game of the season. He played his final two seasons, combining for 55 catches and six touchdowns. Akins was a third-round draft pick of the Houston Texans in 2018.
Will the NFL players sit out any games?
While several professional sports teams walked off the field or court this week in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer, all eyes turned to the NFL. Many have wondered if the NFL players will follow suit when their season kicks off next month. Some players and coaches have already spoken about what could happen.
“I can’t really just go and speak on behalf of the whole league,” New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley told NFL.com, “but for us, that’s something that we’re going to talk about within our groups, within our team. What’s talked about in meetings, in players’ meetings, stays in players’ meetings. Going on with what the NBA did, I definitely commend them for doing that. The WNBA, the ladies, did it, too. I want to commend them for standing up, using their platform and using their voice.”
While no team has come right out and said it was planning to protest by not playing, it remains a possibility. Seattle Seahawks head coach recently said nothing would surprise him. “Anything’s possible,” he said, according to ESPN. “This is a protest season.”
Texans TE Jordan Akins said he has no plans to sit out
During a media session Saturday, Houston Texans’ third-year tight end Jordan Akins was asked if he would consider sitting out as a way of protesting.
“No, not really,” Akins said. “I’m here. I’m here to play ball. I think my political views are totally different. I mean, I try to separate my game from politics. While I’m in the building, I’m a Texan.”
It’s still too early to know what, if anything, will happen regarding protests putting off NFL games. It seems like if it was up to Akins, there won’t be any interruption.
Statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.