Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill says players should restrict statements on game days

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TEMPE, Ariz. — A day after Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill publicly supported Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh through a letter to four high-ranking senators and in an article on the team’s website, Bidwill said he supports players speaking up on social issues but wants them to “restrict their statements” on game days.

Bidwill said he didn’t regret the way he acknowledged his support of Kavanaugh, a high school classmate at Georgetown Prep in Washington, D.C., during an interview Tuesday morning on The Mike Broomhead Show on NewsTalk 550 KFYI. The article on the team site had exclusive comments from Bidwill discussing his relationship with and support for Kavanaugh, as well as the nomination process, and it was promoted through the team’s official Twitter account.

“Not at all,” Bidwill said. “I think it’s important to speak up. People are saying stick to sports? You know what? We ask our players 20 days a year — game days — to restrict their statements. The rest of the days, we want our players to get engaged in the community. Just like I am and other owners are.

“In fact, I’m working with [an NFL] committee called the Social Justice Committee, where we’re working with players across the league to get them more involved in changing policy and making America a better place for everyone.”

Bidwill is one of five team executives on the committee, which is comprised of 10 people, including three active players and two retired players.

Bidwill’s letter, which was sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein, was signed by more than 150 of Bidwill’s high school classmates, he said, including New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

Bidwill said the letter and article supporting Kavanaugh “isn’t about politics.”

“This is a 100 percent about, I’ve known Brett since I was 16 years old,” Bidwill said. “We were high school football teammates; we’ve grown up in life together. He became a lawyer; I became a lawyer. We followed each other’s careers, stayed in touch. I went to his wedding, watched him become a husband and father and a terrific judge. And we’ve stayed close, like many of our classmates.

“We knew something was special about Brett. He’s a brilliant, brilliant lawyer, and we just knew something was special and he was going to do something great in life.”

The letter asked the four senators to “rise above the passions and examine who Brett Kavanaugh is and whether his juridical ability, extensive experience and many accomplishments in public service qualify him to the position of an Associate Justice,” after saying some people could use the confirmation process “as a rallying cry for advancing deeply and honestly held beliefs for many groups in our country.”

In the closing line of the letter, Bidwill and his classmates “respectfully request that [the committee] promptly and fully consider his nomination.”

In May, after the NFL announced its new anthem policy at league meetings in Atlanta, Bidwill said, “I look forward to getting the focus back on football and getting back to football in 2018.”



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