Von Miller has become the latest big-name NFL star to write an essay. His appeared in Time.
The Broncos linebacker begins by relating his respiratory challenges, growing up with asthma and not being able to breath.
“Since George Floyd died, tears have overcome me at least once a day,” Miller writes for the magazine’s website. “And then, as I thought about it, I have felt this pain in varying degrees for as far back as I can remember — at least since the first time I was called a [racial slur] in elementary school. The pain sears me every day, now. It’s an emotional pain. It’s a physical pain. It is the pain of oppression in a country that’s supposed to be free.”
Miller said his love for his country has compelled him to use the platform he has been given. He led a march in Denver on Saturday that drew thousands and spoke during the rally.
Miller’s message, he wrote, is “all in for unity, equality and justice.”
“Many of us have seen this day coming, but let’s not get it twisted,” Miller said. “The social upheaval we are witnessing is not about one horrific incident in Minneapolis. This has been building up for years, decades, generations. We can either confront it for what it is and make it an inflection point in the arc of our nation’s history, or we can become complicit in the perpetuation of our disease because we refuse to admit we are ill. This time may be different. I pray that it is different. This time, many of the protesters are not black. This time, the entire country is engaged. This time, the entire world has taken notice. We have really begun to talk with each other, not just “at” each other. If we can find the strength to come together as a people and fight for healing and change, then together we can enjoy the sunshine of our American ideals. If we do not choose this course, we can expect the darkness to remain.”