Arthur Blank calls for unity, hopes for “lasting, positive change”

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Falcons owner Arthur Blank called for unity Saturday, a day after racial tensions boiled over in Atlanta.

The senseless death of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer led to protests across the nation, including in Atlanta, where a peaceful protest turned violent Friday night. The CNN building was defaced, and the College Football Hall of Fame was damaged.

Blank said in his statement he hopes some good comes from the events of this week, leading to “productive action and lasting, positive change.”

“A number of events over the last couple of weeks have reminded us again that the long, worthy quest for equal justice, civility and unity in America is far from over,” Blank said. “People are scared and in pain. Their frustration is real, and it must be acknowledged and addressed. More must be done to address systemic racism. More must be done to address the underlying issues that have led to these incidents across the country. More must be done to bring people together through meaningful change.

“The public discourse on these and other issues is too divisive, too political. These are not political issues, they are human issues that need serious, earnest attention from leaders and citizens alike who understand that diversity is our strength and fair treatment is everyone’s right. Open, honest dialogue is needed on a much greater scale. It is my hope that we take this terrible moment in our history to elevate that conversation toward productive action and lasting, positive change. Peaceful protests of the past have led to new ways forward. Lawlessness, vandalism and intentionally upending the peace with any form of violence has never been productive and is not the answer. We must not accept or condone violence in any way. And to be sure, Atlanta is better than what we saw in the actions of a few last night.

“Together we will rise above this on the strength of what has always made Atlanta great – its people, its leaders of past and present and its unique culture that is welcoming to all. Our Family Foundation and the rest of our businesses here in Atlanta and elsewhere remain committed to being part of the solution.”

19 responses to “Arthur Blank calls for unity, hopes for “lasting, positive change”

  1. Unfortunately these violent left wing protests are tearing the country apart. I wish people could preach peace instead of hate, looting burning cars and businesses and destroying lives.

  2. Dude above needs a reality check. They’re not “left wing” protests.

  3. Does that change also include not looting, burning, and committing acts of violence in our communities?

  4. They are rioters not “protestors,” unless breaking windows, destroying livelihoods, and stealing televisions is how you honor someone tragically killed.

  5. Unfortunately these violent left wing protests
    At least you have a good bead on things…

    Nothing to do with politics chumbo and quit trying to make it so.

  6. “Unfortunately these violent left wing protests.”

    Why isn’t our Prez asking for peace and trying to calm the waters instead of creating more turmoil? Statements like “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” doesn’t help, you know.

  7. I can understand trashing CNN but the CFB Hall of Fame? Man, that’s un-American.

  8. The bottom line is to value education, have work ethic, and obey the laws of this country. This makes everyone equal. Also, don’t dance before the final whistle…

  9. The Atlanta Legends of the defunct AAF were not better than what we saw last night.

  10. The point is, the government is out of control. Government should serve the people, people should not fear their government. Law enforcement is the face we see on TV, but nearly every agency of government has a natural tendency to accumulate power then go overboard in its application.

  11. Everyone NOW calls for unity, but when Kap was trying to illuminate a generational issue by PEACEFUL protestation several years ago, he was run out of the league. And, now we have this…and again, the cry is for unity. I’m not buying it.

  12. Yea a billionaire shouldnt be taken seriously when it comes to issues of social justice

  13. The legitimate protesters in Minneapolis are not burning the city down and looting. The burning and vandalism is being done with well-coordinated strikes by right-wing agitators and anarchists. The looting is being done by any and all don’t-give-a-hoot, disconnected opportunists.

  14. America is tilting towards fascism. Trump is a bum. The commenters here love him. It shows in their own commentary.

  15. Numerous amateur videos of white men wearing all-black tactical clothing and gas masks and carrying hammers dispersing from numerous vans and creating chaos. People asking them to stop the destruction were threatened. It was not protesters. Authorities have requested any footage that may be available. They’re looking for them and they’ll find as many as possible. Their vans had 3%’er logos and OK symbols. This was NOT Antifa.

  16. If there is one thing good that can come from all of this ugliness, my hope is that it would be that folks who like to stick their head in the ground and turn the other way on issues of racism will wake up, pay attention and take a side now. And hopefully if enough people are on the side of justice then we can avoid entering into an era of prolonged Civil unrest.

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