Biggest Names In NFL Demand Owners Admit They Silenced Protesters Like Colin Kaepernick
Some of the biggest names in the National Football League (NFL) have demanded the owners admit they ‘silenced’ players who stood up for the Black Lives Matter movement.
More than 15 players, including Patrick Mahomes, Odell Beckham, Saquon Barkley, Zeke Elliott, Jarvis Landry, Tyrann Mathieu and DeAndre Hopkins, came together to create a video in which they addressed the NFL organisation.
The football stars refer to the recent death of George Floyd, asking: ‘How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players?’, and questioning what it would take to have the owners pay attention.
Speaking in turn, they continued:
What will it take? For one of us to be murdered by police brutality?
One by one, the players questioned whether action would have been taken if it was them being pinned to the floor, with an officer’s knee pressed against their neck, as Floyd was.
Watch the video here:
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines in 2016 for conducting a silent, peaceful protest which saw him kneel while the national anthem played. At the time, he explained he was ‘not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour’, FiveThirtyEight reports.
Following the silent protest, Kaepernick lost his NFL career, with other clubs refusing to re-sign him. Four years on, the protests are still taking place, and NFL players are refusing to let owners get away with silencing those who take a stand.
In the video, the players continued:
We assert our right to peacefully protest. It shouldn’t take this long to admit.
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. We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.
The video is said to have been put together by New Orleans Saints star Michael Thomas, who decided to organise the collaboration after his teammate Drew Brees condemned players who knelt for the anthem, TMZ reports.
It’s unclear what the players plan to do if NFL bosses refuse to comply with their demands, though it is clear they are not willing to be ignored.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk