Last week’s powerful video by players pushed the NFL to an actual response.
And the fact that one particular player was involved may have helped fix the need for action in the minds of many.
According to Jason Reid of ESPN.com, having the Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes be the first player in the group to look into the camera and say “Black Lives Matter” made a huge impact on one of the game’s pioneers.
Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl, said he was impressed with Mahomes attaching his voice to the project.
“Let me tell you something, . . . that [Mahomes’ involvement] was huge,” Williams said on the phone Saturday. “We’re not talking about a 15-year veteran. We’re talking about a young man who’s not even 25. He has been the MVP of this league. He has won a Super Bowl. Just right there, he’s already made an incredible impact in this league.
“Then he goes and does this [participates in the video] at this time. With all these young people out here marching in the streets and demanding change, it’s a different time right now. You see that there are so many young people leading. It says a lot that he wanted to be involved in pushing for that change. It was very powerful.”
There’s no offense intended toward Deshaun Watson or any of the other stars who appeared in the video, but having the top player in the league involved added to its impact.
It was one thing for the football industry to marginalize Colin Kaepernick, himself a Super Bowl quarterback but not the brightest star in the league at the time.
Having the quarterback who’s the face of the NFL at the moment made last week’s message impossible to ignore.