Many companies in every industry are putting out statements, which don’t really state all that much.
When Saints linebacker Demario Davis was asked about the violence that has erupted from protests of the death of George Floyd, he had specific ideas.
During an appearance on NFL Network, Davis said any hope of progress has to begin with honoring the memory of Floyd — but it can’t stop there.
“We can’t bring justice to these families,” Davis said. “Justice would be bringing those people back and we can’t bring them back. The first thing we can do is try to honor those families. The way we honor those families specifically the Floyd family is making sure that all four of those officers are not just charged and arrested but convicted. Three of the officers haven’t been arrested but 1,600 people have been arrested since the protests began. That’s a problem and that continues to sweep the issue that exists under the rug.
“Then we have to change the way policing is done in our country. We know how to respond to crisis, we know how to respond to tragedies. Just think back to 9/11 — 9/11 changed the way that we do airports. You’ll never walk into an airport and it’ll be the same. It was changed as a form of protection. We would never allow that situation to happen again in our country and that’s what we need to do around policing. We need to change the way that that we police so we won’t have these incidents come up again. Because every time it does it tears at the threads of America. It tears us apart.”
Davis also wasn’t prepared to give a pass to the law enforcement industry for a “a few bad apples” defense (illustrated in a different way by Chris Rock), saying standards have to be higher for certain jobs.
“We can’t allow bad apples in this specific situation in this specific occupation,” Davis said. “It would be the same if we were to say it’s OK to have a few bad apples as pilots. Most of our pilots do well, but a few crash planes, we can’t have that. Some occupations can’t afford to have a few bad apples and police officers is one of them.”
Davis is a member of The Players Coalition, an organization that sprang up in response to another non-violent protest of police brutality (which wasn’t received well at the time either). He cited the diversity of every locker room, but recognized that more needed to be done.
“For whatever reason everybody is getting involved in this conversation saying, ‘Hey, we have to do something.’ And that’s what’s been needed,” he said. “That’s what’s been needed in the past, and that’s why I’m hopeful in this time because it’s different because everybody is coming to the forefront and saying we’re going to link our arms with the black community. They’ve been crying for too long, now we need change. And that’s what we’ve been asking in every other situation that’s came before.”
This time, the anger bubbled over. This time is different. And this time, Davis hopes the response changes as well.