Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is showing support for his minority teammates and the Black Lives Matter movement. He wishes he hadn’t waited so long.
“Do I wish I would have know more and been more supportive back in 2016? Yes, 100 percent,” Tannehill said in a conference call Wednesday, via Paul Kuharsky of paulkuharsky.com. “If I would have known then what I know now, I probably would have been more vocal and supportive.”
Tannehill, 31, said he has done “a lot of growing” the past four years.
He has talked to former teammate Kenny Stills and read books the receiver recommended, including “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”
Tannehill is speaking up now, he said, “to be true to who I am and support what I know is right. I am going to fight for what I believe is right.”
“My eyes have been opened to the privilege I’ve lived with my whole life just because of the color of my skin,” Tannehill said, via video from Buck Reising of AtoZSports. “The situations my friends, my teammates, guys I love, that they’ve been put in throughout their life purely because of the color of their skin. Things they have to deal with, which no man, people should have to deal with. When this first came around in 2016, I was on a team with Kenny Stills who was able to educate me about a lot of it. I’m really thankful for a lot of the conversations that we’ve had along the way. Just such an issue that affects millions of people. I think the unfortunate thing about it is if you’re a white person, you don’t have to deal with it on a daily basis, and you’re not put in those situations, it’s easy to just go about your life and not recognize it and not realize how big of a deal it is and how many people it affects on a daily basis. I think with this push, more and more people are having an awakening to the reality of the situation and how deep it really is, how many layers of injustice there are to it with the court system and policing and on a day-to-day basis. There’s so many layers to it, and this push is like the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s been happening far too long, and enough is enough.”
Tannehill said he’s not sure what will happen during the national anthem this fall. The team has yet to have those discussions.