It was just one of those plays—in the 2016 season-opener, the Packers’ Pro Bowl corner went in for a clean tackle and came up groggy. Suffering the after-effects of concussion, Sam Shields spent days and months in darkness, shut off from the world, before finally determining to battle back. Two years on, he’s a key defensive and special-teams cog on a Rams club with Super Bowl aspirations.
The spotlight was on not only the Rams and the Chiefs as they made NFL history on Monday night, but also on the first responders who worked tirelessly in the wake of the shooting in Thousand Oaks and the two wildfires that scorched the land less than 30 miles away from the Los Angeles Coliseum.
For Robert Quinn, a humble, quiet NFL veteran who’s been raising his fist since September 2016, the gesture is meant to empower and provoke, and also unite. Its roots trace back to his Carolina upbringing, and for centuries before that. ‘I want people to understand,’ he says—but also, ‘I won’t stop until they get rid of me.’