The entire country was shocked last week after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, was filmed with his knee pressed on the back of the neck of a 46-year-old black man named George Floyd for almost nine minutes, eventually ending his life.
It sparked outrage from the entire black community as rioting, looting, and protest have been rapid since this unfortunate event took place in Minneapolis. One of the league’s most respected quarterbacks, Drew Brees, added fuel to flames when he said that he would never agree with anyone disrespecting the American flag or the country on Wednesday.
As we all know, Colin Kaepernick started taking a knee in 2016 during the National Anthem to peacefully protest and bring awareness to the senseless murders of unarmed black men by white police officers. Now, in the aftermath of the Floyd murder, black players around the NFL have come together to deliver a powerful message via video to the league about the importance of ending systematic racism.
— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) June 5, 2020
The players simply want to know when is the league going to give this issue the seriousness it deserves. Will it take one of them being brutally murder to wake up the NFL? Also, they let it be known that they aren’t any different than their black counterparts who have lost their lives by the hands of law enforcement.
“I am George Floyd, I am Breonna Taylor, I am Ahmaud Arbery, I am Eric Garner, I am Laquan McDonald, I am Tamir Rice, I am Trayvon Martin, I am Walter Scott, I am Michael Brown Jr., I am Samuel Dubose, I am Frank Smart, I am Phillip White, I am Jordan Baker,” they stated.
The most moving part of the whole video is what the players demanded the NFL do going forward.
“On behalf of the National Football League, this is what we, the players, would like to hear you state: ‘We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,'” they said. ‘”We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.'”
The player’s message is clear. It’s time for the NFL to take this issue seriously and fully support the player’s right to peacefully protest. Black lives have to and must matter.