Warrick Dunn pleads for peace in Baton Rouge, having lived this tragedy before

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Most Americans can look at yesterday’s killing of police officers in Baton Rouge and feel a combination of shock, sadness or anger.

But for former NFL running back and current Falcons minority owner Warrick Dunn, the news brings a different kind of emotion.

Dunn’s mother Betty Smothers was a Baton Rouge police officer, and she was shot and killed when he was a senior in high school, so to say recent events hit close to home for him is an understatement.

“My heart breaks for the families and law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge who have lost loved ones,” Dunn said in a statement to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I have been in similar shoes — it will change their lives and leave them reeling with questions for years to come. It is a shame. So many officers who are out there on the front lines have tremendous heart for what they do. These acts of violence don’t solve anything and if my voice can add to the movement to stop it — then I’d consider that a good thing.

“I struggle emotionally to understand why and how police officers are being targeted in the way they are.”

Baton Rouge has been tense since the killing of Alton Sterling at the hands of two white police officers earlier this month, and yesterday’s killing of three police officers will only add to that.

And because of his personal background, Dunn wants to do something, anything to help.

After his mother was killed when he was 18, he went on to a long and distinguished NFL career, but has become more distinguished (or should be) for what he’s done off the field. Working through his charitable foundation, Dunn has helped provide homes to more than 140 single mothers.

And his mother’s killing has also become an open wound, as her killer who sits on Louisiana’s death row is scheduled to be re-sentenced soon. But Dunn’s also pleading for common ground in Baton Rouge, knowing his community is being torn apart.

“I support law enforcement,” Dunn said. “I also support the community of Baton Rouge because they were there for me and my family. If I could have any effect, I’d ask the community to stop the violence, to cool down and to come together to figure this out.

“There is nothing we can’t do, but we have to work together to make something positive come from yet another tragedy in my hometown.”

If Dunn can use his background and his story to bring any measure of peace, it will be his greatest achievement to date.

54 responses to “Warrick Dunn pleads for peace in Baton Rouge, having lived this tragedy before

  1. Warrick Dunn was the classiest class act, and happened to be a very good ball player. I remember admiring him as a kid for what he did off the field. Players are pressured to give back now days, but this dude gave back because that’s who he was.

    AND A GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR

  2. The instantaneous reactions to the incidents are increasing tensions. If the President, Governor, etc. had just waited a few hours. Then they would have known one of the officers was African American, and that the African American shooter belonged to what originated as a white supremacy group. Something useful might have been said knowing that information.

  3. Even though I watched from afar up in Nrw England, Dunn was always one of my favorite players to watch. Maybe it’s that he was undersized and could get it done between the tackles, catching passes in the flank, etc… I don’t know. He was a pleasure to watch play the game.

    It’s nice to learn how much effort and effect he’s had off the field. I always knew he helped with housing single moms out there but 140…just wow. Keep making a difference Warrick.

  4. Warrick Dunn has always and will always be my favorite football player of all time. Class act ON AND OFF the field. The work he’s done for so many people speaks to his character. He may have never played for my team, but I’d always root for him in every game. There needs to be more people in this world like Mr. Dunn.

  5. Tragic story indeed. Mentally ill people only listen to the voice inside their head. I can only hope his voice can help put a stop to this.

  6. A strong voice of reason from someone in the black community. It’s unfortunate that BLM isn’t led by more individuals like Warrick Dunn.

  7. Warrick is the type of man every NFL player should strive to emulate. You have always had my respect Mr. Dunn.

    Tampa resident 1961-1987. Lifelong Bucs fan.

  8. America s fuse has only been lit.
    What will happen if the police officers get off of all charges in the death of those men?
    How will those community’s react?

  9. This is a guy youngsters should be emulating, instead of “gangsters” and “rappers”. Dunn’s actions for many years have shown how community minded and noble he has always been. He was a very good football player also, but an even better human being. I love this guy even though I am a Saints fan.

  10. You can start by getting rid of the racist, terrorists group BLM. They are no better than the KKK. And just for the record, there are more whites killed by police than blacks. Facts.

  11. seatownballers: so the police officers are guilty before you even know all the facts? What makes you judge jury and executioner? The shooting in Minnesota is still being investigated and its unclear as to exactly what went down, the Alton Sterling shooting by all accounts was completely justified.

  12. this guy’s opinion matters so much more to me than some celebrity 3000 miles away sending out a meaningless tweet. he has been on both sides of the argument as a black guy and as a son who lost his mother in the line of duty,if you are going to listen to any one,i say listen top him.

  13. From the video I saw Sterling resisted arrest and reached for the gun in his right pocket. Can’t tell who shot first from the video but law enforcement officers should be allowed to protect themselves.

    If you want to break the law and put yourself in that position then you better be ready for any response.

  14. billswillnevermove says:
    Jul 18, 2016 10:09 AM
    You can start by getting rid of the racist, terrorists group BLM. They are no better than the KKK. And just for the record, there are more whites killed by police than blacks. Facts.

    ————————-

    There are more whites than blacks in the country by a healthy margin. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that number. You are arguing FOR police brutality then basically?

  15. Baton Rouge has been tense since the killing of Alton Sterling at the hands of two white police officers – D Gantt

    Politicians and the media continue to play into the narrative that the officers and “the system” were somehow at fault. It just continues to feed the misplaced idea that unjustly killing black men is a systemic problem with law enforcement. Most are like the Sterling case, growing out of non-compliance with the officers’ lawful orders, forcing a physical confrontation.

    When the officer trying to control Sterling’s right hand screams “Gun!”, his partner can’t just wait to see whether Sterling is able to get his finger on the trigger – at that point, it would be too late. Are there a few bad apples in law enforcement? Yes, like every other profession. Is there a systemic problem? There is no evidence of it.

  16. FYI, after Warrick’s mom was killed, he raised his siblings while he was still a teenager. You have to pay attention to a guy like this. He’s a straight-up man.

  17. BLM = ISIS

    The only difference is domestic terrorist organization vs international terrorist organization. Both cults use the same recruiting tactics, target the underbelly of society.

    Suicide by cop was the best thing Alton Sterling ever did for his family (raised over $500k for family).

  18. BLM = ISIS? There is no difference? And you people are, presumably, voters?

    Regardless of your opinion on BLM (I’m no supporter), there is a vast, vast difference between ISIS — who bombs innocent people, beheads people, has sex slaves whom they rape, etc., — and BLM. We can not have a serious dialogue to solve our country’s problems so long as we are making nonsensical comparisons like that.

    Not to mention, the shooter in Dallas was not a part of BLM. The cops in Dallas died protecting BLM and other organization’s right to free speech.

  19. “Not to mention, the shooter in Dallas was not a part of BLM.”

    And you know this how? By scouring the membership rolls of BLM?

    You can’t have an honest dialogue when people chant “pigs in a blanket, fry ‘ em like bacon.” It’s time for BLM to publicly disavow all such rhetoric, publicly, loudly, at rallies and on Twitter, or be labeled a hate group.

  20. @ daysend564 says:
    Jul 18, 2016 11:36 AM

    BLM = ISIS
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Exhibit #1 as to why nothing in this country will change. Comparing these idiotic at best.

  21. @ billswillnevermove says:
    Jul 18, 2016 10:09 AM

    You can start by getting rid of the racist, terrorists group BLM. They are no better than the KKK.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Exhibit #2 why nothing in this country will change. Comparing BLM to KKK? Really? You really want to go there? Please humor me with why you think BLM is no better than the KKK.

  22. billswillnevermove says:
    Jul 18, 2016 10:09 AM
    You can start by getting rid of the racist, terrorists group BLM. They are no better than the KKK. And just for the record, there are more whites killed by police than blacks. Facts.

    ————————-

    There are more whites than blacks in the country by a healthy margin. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that number. You are arguing FOR police brutality then basically?
    ———————————————————————

    You are right. There are significantly more whites than blacks. However, that smaller percentage (african american) of the community are responsible for a disproportionately high amount of violent crime (rape, murder, assault, etc) according to the DOJ.

    So stands to reason, even though they are a smaller percentage of population, if they are exhibiting behaviors that would lead one to confrontation with law enforcement more often, bad things might happen more often than you would think they should on the surface, right?

  23. @justsayin70 says:
    Jul 18, 2016 9:03 AM

    A strong voice of reason from someone in the black community. It’s unfortunate that BLM isn’t led by more individuals like Warrick Dunn.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Having his name attached to it would not stop the criticism because the majority don’t want to acknowledge the reason why BLM came into being.

  24. daysend564 says:
    Jul 18, 2016 11:36 AM
    BLM = ISIS
    @ billswillnevermove says:
    Jul 18, 2016 10:09 AM

    You can start by getting rid of the racist, terrorists group BLM. They are no better than the KKK.
    =====================================
    Wow. What inappropriate comments at any time but especially associated with the description of what Warrick Dunn has done with his life.
    It would be easy to write something vile in response to your posts. But I will just leave it at that.

  25. Warrick Dunn has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter, other than telling the cult/domestic terrorist organization to stop killing officers, so slow your roll.

  26. billswillnevermove says:
    Jul 18, 2016 10:09 AM
    You can start by getting rid of the racist, terrorists group BLM. They are no better than the KKK. And just for the record, there are more whites killed by police than blacks. Facts.

    ______________________________________

    Misleading fact there. Blacks are 12.3% of the population. Whites are 63%. It’s completely statistically expected that more whites would be shot by police, since there five times as many whites as blacks. The more relevant fact is that blacks are shot at a rate 2.5 times higher than whites.

  27. Growing up a young Buccaneers’ fan I always admired Mr.Dunn and had tremendous respect for a player like him. If anyone is looking for a good/sad read please pick up his book “Running for My Life.”

  28. Jul 18, 2016 1:50 PM – billmiller1991 says: … Blacks are 12.3% of the population. Whites are 63%. It’s completely statistically expected that more whites would be shot by police, since there five times as many whites as blacks. The more relevant fact is that blacks are shot at a rate 2.5 times higher than whites.

    Police don’t just randomly shoot people on the street. Rather than looking at raw population percentages, consider that blacks make up 35+ percent of the prison population, but only 26% of the “police killed” population. Black deaths are actually under-represented among the criminal population.

    If you want to just look at raw percentages, then 51% of the police shooting deaths should be women.

  29. justsayin70 says:
    Jul 18, 2016 9:03 AM
    A strong voice of reason from someone in the black community. It’s unfortunate that BLM isn’t led by more individuals like Warrick Dunn.
    ============

    I don’t even have the energy to address this nonsense.

  30. daysend564 says:
    Jul 18, 2016 11:36 AM
    BLM = ISIS
    ————-

    What does that make the cops who shoot and kill Black men in cold blood without cause?
    —————————————————————–

    A fallacy perpetrated on the gullible by this administration and even more so, the 90 percent liberal controlled media.

    There are still people who think that Michael Brown was shot “without cause” despite a DOJ investigation (that came in as biased against Officer Wilson as Goodell and Wells did against Brady mind you) proving and clearing Wilson one hundred percent.

    There are also NBA players who name Martin (who was not even shot by a police officer) as another reason for this false narrative.

    There are bad cops, mistakes, etc. just like anything else. But the media has brainwashed people for clicks and controversy into seeing something that just isn’t there.

  31. Jul 18, 2016 2:56 PM – Mr. Wright 212 says: What does that make the cops who shoot and kill Black men in cold blood without cause?

    If that ever happens, I’d call those cops evil. How many examples can you provide? Don’t include any where there has been a fight, or the cop has been called into a threatening situation, or one has been non-compliant, because that is NOT “cold blood.” Please list a few.

  32. BLM has always been about peace, and their purpose has always been non-violence.

    If someone shoots up a Walmart and says it’s because they shop at Target it doesn’t mean Target is actually at fault.

    Some of you need to research what BLM has ALWAYS been about—because you don’t get it.

  33. The BLM’s very existence started by rioting, looting, and burning down their cities (Baltimore, Ferguson).

    Since then, they target killing police officers. Yeah, peace and non-violence.

    I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. Oh, you just need the media to tell you to buy it?

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