Broncos safety Justin Simmons put action behind his words Sunday, leading a protest in Florida.
Simmons spoke to hundreds before the peaceful march in his hometown of Stuart, Florida.
“I understand the pain and the grief, but this has not just been an act of George Floyd,” Simmons told them, via Nicki Jhabvala of TheAthletic.com. “It’s been an act of 300 and more years that we have been oppressed from the system. It will not change with violence. So today, we are not going to have any violence out here. We will not. We will be the difference.”
The group crossed the Roosevelt Bridge in the city while chanting, “No justice, no peace,” and holding signs such as, “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe.”
Simmons, a leader on and off the field in Denver, was drawn to speak Sunday. He said he felt “an obligation to use my platform to effect change positively.”
“As Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Riots are the voice of the language of the unheard,’ and for too long, our peaceful protests haven’t been heard,’” Simmons told Jhabvala. “That fact that it took the outrage to get Derek Chauvin in custody and even then he’s only charged with third-degree murder, there’s something flawed in the system. Something needs to change.
“We’re not saying other lives don’t matter. We’re saying all lives can’t matter until black lives matter.”