A prior post quoted a small portion of the opening statement made on Monday morning by Colts coach Frank Reich. His full statement deserves to be repeated, and to be read.
Here it is, from the video and audio posted on the Colts Twitter page:
“Injustice, few things, few things stir the human heart and soul like injustice. When we see it, feel it, experience it, it’s heart wrenching. It’s not enough for a person who looks like me to say, ‘I’m not racist.’ This kind of talk and thinking, it typically lends itself to a posture of neutrality, indifference, and passivity. It’s easy to be silent and do nothing, when it doesn’t directly impact you. This attitude simply doesn’t evoke any conviction about doing what is right, and standing up for the inherent dignity and rights of all people, no matter the color of their skin.
“I stand firmly behind the Colts statement, and in particular, the phrase that says, ‘We abhor racism.’ Racism is vile, deplorable, detestable. There’s no form of it that is acceptable, and in no way can it be justified. Our black community has bore the brunt of this injustice far too long. I believe that I — we — all have a personal responsibility to speak up, and to act in ways that build each other up, not tear each other down. I believe each one of us can make a difference if we’re willing to grow personally and display the courage necessary for us to take steps of progress in this most important of issues.
“Just wanted to, just felt compelled to make a statement I’ve spent some time writing and just wanted to share personally. I know we issued an organizational statement, but spent some time thinking and writing a statement that would reflect my own personal views. And just cannot be silent. Want to be proactive and so want to do my part and feel responsible.”
It’s a clear message, and it’s the kind of statement that will help focus attention on the core problem, without shifting the narrative to wrongdoing committed by those in reaction to the murder of George Floyd and similar misconduct. Yes, rioting and looting and violence during the protests is wrong. But the misbehavior was sparked by the latest example of decades of injustice, and without true equality, more injustice will happen — and it very well could spark more misbehavior.