NFL Stars React To Nationwide Protests Following Death Of George Floyd
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Stars in the National Football League took to social media and used their platform to express their concerns regarding the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests spurred by the death of George Floyd.
Cities all over the United States have had protests following the death of Floyd who was handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a Minnesota police officer. The officer – who has now been fired and arrested – held his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.
The officer involved has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
NFL Stars Speak Out
NFL stars have posted statements on Twitter and Instagram throughout the weekend.
Kansas City Chiefs and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes released a statement on Twitter on Monday.
“As I have watched everything that has happened over the last week and even before then, I have tried to put my feelings into words,” Mahomes wrote in his statement. “As a kid who was born with a black dad and a white mom, I have been blessed to be accepted for who I am my entire life, but that isn’t the case for everyone. The senseless murders that we have witnessed are wrong and cannot continue in our country. All I can think about is how I grew up in a locker room where people from every race, every background and every community came together and became brothers to accomplish a single goal.”
“I hope that our country can learn from the injustices that we have witnessed to become more like the locker room where everyone is accepted,” Mahomes continued. “We all need to treat each other like brothers and sisters and become better. Let’s be the world where my little sister, generations to come, and even my future kids will grow up never having to experience these tragedies and instead love each other unconditionally! Love and Unite! #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.”
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson released a statement on Instagram.
“My heart hurts,” Wilson wrote in his statement. “Pain. Frustration. Outrage. Sadness. I remember my dad and grandfather telling me vivid stories of the 50s and 60s regarding the brutal acts of violence inflicted upon blacks. It seems that we have been thrust back to those horrific events all over again in 2020. The reality is the past has never left us. As I’ve been thinking about what to say, I realized there are no words that can alleviate the hurt and pain over the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others.”
“As a stepdad to one of the most amazing kids I’ve ever known, a young boy with so much passion, talent, intelligence, and love for others,” Wilson continued. “As a father to one of the most bright, brilliant and vibrant young girls in the world and a new baby boy on the way… I fear. I fear for their lives just like my grandmother feared for my dad’s life and the lives of her other children. I fear because of the color of their beautiful chocolate skin.”
The entire statement from Wilson can be found below.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz posted his thoughts on Twitter.
“Been thinking about the George Floyd situation and thinking of the words to say & coming up empty,” Wentz wrote. “All I know is that the institutional racism in this country breaks my heart and needs to stop. Can’t even fathom what the black community has to endure on a daily basis. Being from North Dakota, I’ve spent a large part of my life surrounded by people of similar color, so I’m never gonna act like I know what the back community goes through or even has gone through already. I’ll never know the feeling of having to worry about my kids going outside because of their skin color. However, I do know that we are all equal at the foot of the cross and Jesus taught us to value others’ lives like they were our own – regardless of skin tone.”
“So, this might seem like a ramble – and perhaps it is,” Wentz continued. “I don’t understand the society we live in that doesn’t value all human life. It’s heartbreaking and disturbing. My prayers go out to every man, woman, and child that has to endure the effects of the racism in our society.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and NFL legend Tom Brady posted a picture on his Instagram story with a picture of George Floyd with the hashtag “Justice for Floyd.”
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill used quotes from Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey along with his own thoughts.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe & protected in their communities… it’s on us to use our voices and actions to make that happen. What happened is completely unacceptable,” Tannehill wrote.
The quotes from Mayor Frey that was included in Tannehill’s Twitter post read the following:
“Whatever the investigation reveals, it does not change the simple truth: He should still be with us this morning. I believe what I saw and what I saw was wrong on every level,” Frey said. “Being black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes.”
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback and number one overall pick Joe Burrow calls for people to listen and speak.
“The black community needs our help,” Burrow wrote. “They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.”
Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt gave his thoughts on the death of George Floyd on a Zoom call with the media.
“I’ve seen the video and I think it’s disgusting,” Watt said. “I think there is no explanation, to me it doesn’t make any sense. I don’t see how a man in handcuffs, on the ground, who was clearly detained and clearly saying in distress, I don’t understand in how that situation can’t be remedied in a way that doesn’t end in his death. I think it needs to be addressed strongly obviously. I just don’t see how that situation makes any sense whatsoever. Anybody who saw the video, I don’t know how you can defend it. It’s terrible, extremely difficult to watch and upsetting.”