Black quarterbacks in the NFL have been vocal this week on the recent injustices that have sparked protests across the country.
Our own Rob Parker wrote a column earlier this week calling out the most prominent black quarterbacks in the league for their perceived silence on this matter.
The responsibility of changing this country doesn’t fall solely on these athletes to speak up. It takes white people who have benefited from this systemic oppression to want to finally make a difference. However, the voices of these NFL stars still hold weight.
From their tweets to the streets of their respective cities, these black stars are pitching in to support the movement for justice and equality.
Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and Pro Bowler Deshaun Watson appeared in a social media video calling on the NFL to condemn racism and admit they wrongfully silenced players from peacefully protesting.
The NFL responded with an 81-second video of commissioner Roger Goodell adhering to two of the requests by the players.
What Goodell failed to admit was that the league had tried all along to silence players like Colin Kaepernick, who was blackballed by the league.
But the quarterbacks’ activism didn’t stop there.
Watson took to the streets to protest. He was pictured participating in a march in Houston that was led by the Floyd family.
“For the Floyd Family,” Watson said on Twitter.
Mahomes is already the most talented quarterback in the league, an MVP, and a 2018 first team All Pro. He posted a picture on Twitter of his notes app and a statement addressing the situation.
“The senseless murders that we have witnessed are wrong and cannot continue in our country,” wrote Mahomes. “We all need to treat each other like brothers and sisters and become something better. “
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who is still looking to sign a long-term contract, announced on Instagram that he will donate $1M to “improve our police training and address systematic racism through education and advocacy.”
It’s vital that the money given by Prescott will be utilized to help officers gain trust in black communities. The $1 million could be most beneficial if given to independent programs outside of police departments that help educate these officers.
If effective, the donation is a huge step for Prescott, who refused to protest the national anthem in 2016. Prescott says he stands with the protesters but doesn’t believe in looting or violence as the answer. He challenged police forces to take action against officers like Derek Chauvin.
The Seahawks’ Russell Wilson released a statement condemning racism and asking for compassion, leadership, justice, and equality.
“We cannot continue to ignore racism as though it has ended or never happened,” said Wilson. “God loves color. He loves us all. He loves you. He loves me.”
Unanimous MVP Lamar Jackson has been posting on Twitter this week about numerous instances of police brutality. He even retweeted a post made by Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins that showed police officers kicking and punching a person on the ground.
“Why my people still get did like this,” said Jackson.
The actions of these quarterbacks will only help the movement to create justice and equality for black people around the nation. These athletes have the social and economic capital to bring even more strength to this fight. They shouldn’t sit on this level of power.
Athletes have to help take the next step.
They have the power to enhance a cause that has already resonated across the country.