Players produce powerful video demanding clear messages from NFL

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As monumental societal changes descends on our nation, words are becoming action. And a group of NFL players has put together a powerful 70-second video that sends a powerful message to America — and specifically to the National Football League.

“It’s been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered,” Saints receiver Michael Thomas says at the outset of the video.

“How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players?” asks Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu.

“What will it take?” says Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

“For one of us to be murdered by police brutality?” asks Browns receiver Jarvis Landry.

“What if I was George Floyd?” says Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson.

“If I was George Floyd,” echoes Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

“What if I was George Floyd?” asks Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

And then the players, a who’s who list that also includes men like Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot, make these declarations, one at a time: “I am George Floyd. . . . I am Breonna Taylor. . . . I am Ahmaud Arbery. . . . I am Eric Garner. . . . I am Laquan McDonald. . . . I am Tamir Rice. . . . I am Trayvon Martin. . . . I am Walter Scott. . . . I am Michael Brown Jr. . . . I am Samuel DuBose. . . . I am Frank Smart. . . . I am Phillip White. . . . I am Jordan Baker.”

Then comes the clear and unmistakable message to the NFL.

“We will not be silenced. We assert our right to peacefully protest. It shouldn’t take this long to admit.

“So on behalf of the National Football League, this is what we the players would like to hear you state: We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systemic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”

And so the ball is now in the NFL’s court. Will a clear statement be issued condemning racism, declaring that black lives matter, and most importantly affirming the right of peaceful protest — even if it happens during the national anthem?

The clock is ticking.

33 responses to “Players produce powerful video demanding clear messages from NFL

  1. Really putting the pressure on the NFL to respond. They can’t NOT respond with a solid statement after this.

  2. Welp. The players have officially overplayed their collective hand. They really should’ve consulted the data, instead of their emotions. ✌️ NFL

  3. Well done. The NFL cannot hide from this any longer.

    You either support the players that make up the majority of your league or you don’t.

  4. Protest all they want, just don’t do it in a way that offends people that have nothing to do with what you are protesting, i.e. our military. Show up at police stations. Sit out games to bring awareness. I mean there are so many other ways to protest and get your point across without offending half the nation.

  5. Why does it seem like the NFL is being painted as the bad guy here. Can’t think of an entity that’s done more for black people.

  6. How exactly are they helping their cause by giving what sounds like an ultimatum to their bosses? I for one would love to see the changes they are begging for, but aggressively demanding everyone fall in line or be steamrolled by the media isn’t the way to get it done.

  7. Is it possible that a compromise could be struck?

    What if, before the national anthem each game, 10 seconds of silence are observed to honor the victims of racial injustice and oppression?

    Then, in a collective statement of unity, everyone rises for the national anthem? Not as a political statement, not in support of (or against) a cause, but to honor our shared
    heritage as Americans and our continued pursuit of American ideals? Then all NFL players can honor the victims, and then salute the flag without the implicit assumption of racism.

    The NFL is one of the few unifying elements of American culture we have. I hate to kick off every game with such a divisive scene, which is what it’s become.

  8. Yes on all counts, but not during the national anthem. If we want this message heard, it has to be on neutral ground, there is just no way that we can get this done if we step on something that is so deeply believed in as the National Anthem and the flag of our country. We need to be the ones putting suggestions out for policy changes at every level of state government and law enforcement, we need to be the ones that are demanding that there is Federal over site on the policies that each state adopts going forward. If we can’t come up with some viable ideas, how are we supposed to be the roll models that we think we are. After all, we are college educated members of society with the time and money to make this change happen. It’s time we put to use the education that the hard working American people gave us in the way of scholarships, it’s time to pay our dept.

  9. That was a powerful commercial. Kudos to the players for standing up for what they believe in – todays athletes are no longer, just athletes. They understand that they have a platform and will use that platform to help change the nation in a positive way.

    NFL, your move. Stand up WITH your players.

  10. Bravo. Very powerful video. The star players made the desires of fellow NFL players very clear. Let’s see if the NFL can respond quickly and appropriately to this challenge.

  11. And respectively NFL players I will no longer spend my hard earned dollars to watch you demonstrate on my dime. Watch your millions go down the drain. Soccer anyone!

  12. We used social media to bullying the NFL into saying what we want them to say.

  13. Here’s a crystal clear message. STAND for the anthem. Save your protests for when you are on your own time. If you don’t like that rule, find another job. Maybe there are other things they can do and still make multi millions of dollars each year. It doesn’t matter is some people who served in the military are ok with it. There are plenty who aren’t ok with it at all. When the national anthem is played, you remove your hat, if wearing one, and STAND, if you are able to. Our country isn’t perfect. It never will be. We can always strive to do better, but we should ALWAYS respect the flag and ALWAYS stand for the anthem. Not kneel and show our disgust with the way things are. That won’t change anything.

  14. We, the customers, agree with you. We, the customers, will stand with you. We, the customers, do not want our past times engulfed in politics. There is a place and a time for that. However, we will not spend money “going to a political rally” when we need an escape from reality.

  15. Yes on all counts, but not during the national anthem. If we want this message heard, it has to be on neutral ground, there is just no way that we can get this done if we step on something that is so deeply believed in as the National Anthem and the flag of our country. We need to be the ones putting suggestions out for policy changes at every level of state government and law enforcement, we need to be the ones that are demanding that there is Federal over site on the policies that each state adopts going forward. If we can’t come up with some viable ideas, how are we supposed to be the roll models that we think we are. After all, we are college educated members of society with the time and money to make this change happen. It’s time we put to use the education that the hard working American people gave us in the way of scholarships, it’s time to pay our dept.

  16. Was Lebron James in the video he speaks for everyone in sports doesn’t he?

  17. These are real men who are adverting to injustice, not mere entertainers who are encouraging you to abide injustice.

  18. If you’re still talking about “players disrespecting the flag” by kneeling during the national anthem clearly you’re not ready for these conversations. Call a time out and come back later.

    -Julius Peppers

  19. I’m going to never have an opinion on anything, just agree with everything.

  20. mussyinbmore says:
    June 4, 2020 at 10:45 pm
    Welp. The players have officially overplayed their collective hand. They really should’ve consulted the data, instead of their emotions. ✌️ NFL

    —————

    I’m sure they did…the data shows that 70 percent of the players in the NFL are black…without them there is no NFL…so perhaps the NFL SHOULD be taking this serious…actions not posturing…

  21. Funny not that is not the way it happens at my job or almost anywhere else in the US…

  22. Yep. There is a LOT of work to be done in changing the narrative. Judging from the comments on here, lots of tone deaf folk. As long as the players don’t interfere with their cosy little lives, it’s all good. It is depressing, but not surprising.

  23. I suppose the country’s problems are all solved now. We have some of biggest and brightest thinkers from the world of sports on the case now. I feel better already.

  24. Depending on how the NFL goes with this, this could do serious damage to the brand in what is likely to be a challenging year. People use sports as an escape from their daily lives and if you are going to overwhelm them with controversial issues they are just going to turn off. It doesn’t matter if it should be controversial or not, the league that declared its patriotism by forcing the department of defense to pay for the ceremonies isn’t an altruistic organization.

  25. For the most part I agree with the message. I wonder why they need to lump Michael Brown in there though, he was a attacking a police officer and got shot. It was justified, so he’s a bad example to be throwing in with the people that were legitimately killed for no reason or as a drastic over reaction to a minor incident.

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