Jason McCourty: Athletes have to take advantage of their platform

Getty Images

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores was one of the first figures from the NFL to weigh in with a statement after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last week and a couple of his former players liked what he had to say.

Flores was critical of “people who broadcast their opinions on kneeling or on the hiring of minorities [who] don’t seem to have an opinion on the recent murders of these young black men and women.” The most recent episode of the podcast hosted by Patriots defensive backs Devin and Jason McCourty focused on a discussion of the issues surrounding Floyd’s death and Devin McCourty highlighted Flores’ work.

“I think it’s about leading men,” McCourty said, via MLive.com. “It’s about men seeing the important things. We don’t just come to play football. We’re around each other, we mentor each other, we try to pour into each other. So to see him go out there and make it public and say how he felt, I thought was really good.”

Jason McCourty took some time to call on athletes to follow Flores’ lead and use their place in the spotlight productively.

“We have to take advantage of the platform we have when we have it,” McCourty said. “Once we’re retired, you still can do it but it’s almost too late to demand the audience and people that you have. I think it starts with a conversation. As you watch what has gone on over the last few days, with the rioting and looting, it’s a form of communication when you don’t know how else to communicate.”

Devin McCourty said he’s seen more players follow his brother’s suggestion in recent years and he thinks more eyes are open now. He lamented the tragic reason for that while offering hope that “can lead us to create that change and hopefully improve” in the future.

23 responses to “Jason McCourty: Athletes have to take advantage of their platform

  1. a handful of NFL stars are know . the other 99.9% are unknown to most people. sorry dont think they will make a difference . like all stories some thing will come along and push it off the front page . we do live in the 24 hr. news cycle these days.

  2. You have no platform. And you take three times as many roster spots in the NFL and NBA that your race and gender and age have in the general population. If you want to address racial balance, start quitting and letting people have their fair shot at the pros. Otherwise, shut up.

  3. You cannot say black lives matter and ignore the murders happening in Chicago. Full stop.

    You can label all police and white people as racist if it makes you feel better, but racism exists within the black community as well. When someone becomes successful they are often called a “sellout” or “not black.” That mindset is toxic, and making one race a scapegoat for this real issue will not solve anything.

    Police need to not abuse their power, we all agree. But a hell of a lot more needs to happen to incite real change. Posting a black screen on your Instagram or Facebook page for clout won’t fix the problem either.

  4. We really need political leaders to step up and stop hiding, athletes are secondary.

  5. chickensalad43 says:
    June 2, 2020 at 10:13 am
    You cannot say black lives matter and ignore the murders happening in Chicago….

    The most logical balanced comment i have read in a week!

  6. Athletes, celebrities,movie people etc. are among the people I dont care to hear from.
    They preach from behind their mansion walls or surrounded by private security.

  7. Im glad so many athletes both white and black are coming together. Maybe itll drive all of the racist fans away.

  8. This victim mentality is getting nauseating. Why not start with not killing your own on a daily basis? Why not continue with not breaking the law? And, how about obeying the instructions of a police officer?

    Not defending that animal for murdering George Floyd, but there are good cops and good citizens that are daily terrorized by blacks and they don’t hold themselves accountable. They blame racism, slavery, police, and our President. No! Look in the mirror and take accountability to fix up your own community and stop killing your own.

  9. They preach from behind their mansion walls or surrounded by private security.

    —-

    So does the president

  10. I guess Patrick Underwood’s life doesn’t matter…I don’t see any outrage over his murder.

  11. The issues on which they want athletes to use their platforms are very complex and multi-sided and are hard, even for folks who study these issues full time, to come up with fair and useful ideas. Why do they expect athletes to impose themselves into the mix just because they have a platform?

  12. “Shut up and play” is so stupid. How about if you don’t wanna hear their opinions you dont bother clicking the articles or follow them on social media. What gives us the right to tell someone they can or cant share their opinion? Let’s be honest here, if their opinion was the same as yours you would be fine with it. The problem is you don’t wanna hear a different opinion.

  13. Meanwhile, Trump panders to the right wing religious base and incites more violence with every racist press conference he gives.

    Superb leadership.

    Ugh.

  14. Sadly, due to the lack of leadership in the white house we have to look to pro athletes to fill the void.

  15. No, what’s nauseating are the people that act like there’s no problem (you), the people who are taking advantage of the protests by looting & otherwise creating violent chaos AND the people acting like the president, YOUR PRESIDENT but not OUR, is not culpable at all. How is threatening & attacking Americans ok? Shooting peaceful protesters with rubber bullets and spraying them with tear gas so he could awkwardly take a picture holding a bible in front of a church is strong leadership? Go ahead and make something up to defend him now but you’re gonna look stupid because I’m basing everything off of facts. You realize white people kill other white people also, right? White on white crime also happens, in fact, I’ve had my share of crime & violent crime perpetrated against me by white people only. It’s laughable you can actually point the finger at anyone really & claim they don’t hold themselves accountable and then support Donald Trump, the king of zero accountability (and the universe according to him). The president is supposed to lead, support the people…ALL people; he should be able to be looked to for guidance and wisdom, de-escalate tensions when need be BUT he does the opposite on ALL fronts. Same for the cops in terms of de-escalating, providing guidance and most do. Most, not all, and that’s the problem there. One (or 4) bad cops give them all a bad name, they put each other in danger by harming unarmed people, especially black people because they are targeted and don’t tell me for 1 second they are treated the same. I got pulled over once with one of my black friends in the car, we hadn’t done anything wrong but were passing through a rough neighborhood…they took us both out of the car so they could search it and while I sat on the curb, he sat in the back of a cruiser in cuffs. Eventually they let us leave because we’d done nothing wrong but you don’t seem a problem with that situation? Either we are both in cuffs or both on the sidewalk if things and people are treated equally. Keep acting like there’s no problem though, keep being a part of the wrong side of history, it’ll pass you by je day, I promise

  16. It’s their platform and yes, they need to take advantage of it. Where’s the president in all of this? Oh, that’s right, hiding in his bunker. If professional athletes have to take on the role of leadership vis a vis racism and police brutality in America, then I welcome it. And don’t give me that “It’s their employer’s platform” because I tune in to watch athletes, not owners, just like you.

  17. So does the president
    ______________________

    This comment makes no sense. He is the president. All presidents require protection and all are quite wealthy. What do you expect them to do?

  18. The only issue that really matters is common decency. There should be ethics departments making sure cops with nasty tempers aren’t allowed to work on the force when they have violent capabilities !!! Also we shouldn’t need PEACEFUL PROTESTS to make a point. Protect and serve !! Do your job. And why we need riots and looting is beyond me, I really don’t think they’ll bring this fellow back to life. It’s criminal what the rioters and looters are doing and they should be treated like so

  19. Just shut up and play football. You guys are determined to mess things up worse than the Kaepernick debacle.

  20. McCourty made some of the most sane comments I have heard recently. People on all sides feel like they are being devalued through this situation. What people need to do is listen to all sides, find a common ground, and from there work on issues.

    That requires conversation(s). Communicating, anyone that is saying that only their opinion is the correct one right now is wrong.

    This all started because a human with a power trip decided to try and enforce his will on another human. As long as people continue to view others through lens that allow them to forget that we are all human, issues like this will continue.

  21. lesepi says:
    “You have no platform. And you take three times as many roster spots in the NFL and NBA that your race and gender and age have in the general population.”

    Statistically speaking, I doubt gender and age enter in a significant manner. General population, African Americans are 13% of the population. More than 5 times that in the NFL, more like 6 times or better in the NBA.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.