(AllHipHop News) The National Football League is under intense scrutiny as the world reacts to the brutal murder of George Floyd by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. After many cities were consumed with both peaceful protests and violent uprisings, critics insist the NFL’s blackballing of Colin Kaepernick for quietly kneeling during the national anthem has now been proven to be misguided and reprehensible.
Then, before issuing multiple apologies, New Orleans quarterback Dree Brees face widespread backlash this week for still falsely claiming Kaepernick exhibiting his First Amendment rights was disrespectful to the American flag and US military. Buffalo Bills quarterback Jake Fromm also apologized for texting a friend that “only elite white people” should be able to buy firearms.
Yesterday, a group of NFL players released a public service announcement about George Floyd’s death. They mentioned other African-Americans who unjustly died at the hands of law enforcement: Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, Michael Brown Jr., Samuel Dubose, Frank Smart, Phillip White, and Jordan Baker.
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) June 5, 2020
Patrick Mahomes, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr, Michael Thomas, Ezekiel Elliott, Deshaun Watson, Saquon Barkley, and other athletes also called on the NFL to directly address systemic racism in America. Additionally, the players presented a specific message they would like to hear from the league.
“We will not be silenced. We assert our right to peacefully protest. It shouldn’t take this long to admit,” declared the players. “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 systematic 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.’ ”
On Thursday, the NFL’s official social media pages posted about the Black Lives Matter movement. The statement included the league admitting it can do more to fight against systemic racism in the United States, but the NFL did not offer an apology for pushing back against players peacefully kneeling at games.
The NFL stated:
This is a time of self-reflection for all – the NFL is no exception. We stand with the black community because Black Lives Matter. Through Inspire Change, the NFL, Players and our partners have supported programs and initiatives throughout the country to address systemic racism. We will continue using our platform to challenge the injustice around us. To date we have donated $44 million to support hundreds of worthy organizations. This year, we are committing an additional $20 million to these causes and we will accelerate efforts to highlight their critical work. We know that we can and need to do more.