Prominent NFL players are calling for the league to “believe Black Lives Matter” in a powerful video posted to their Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, delivered a strong message demanding changes from the National Football League.
The video, which also includes Patrick Mahomes, Eric Kendricks, Patrick Peterson, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Stephon Gilmore, Ezekiel Elliott, Jarvis Landry, Anthony Barr and Michael Thomas.
“It’s been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered.”
Mathieu asks: “How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players?”
Hopkins asks: “What will it take?”
Various players said: “For one of us to be murdered by police brutality?”
Several players, including Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said in unison: ‘What if I was George Floyd?” before Hopkins answers: “I am George Floyd.”
— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) June 5, 2020
Then players listed other black men and women who have been killed:
“I am Breonna Taylor”
“I am Ahmaud Arbery”
“I am Eric Garner”
“I am Laquan McDonald ”
“I am Tamir Rice”
“I am Trayvon Martin”
“I am Walter Scott”
“I am Michael Brown Jr.”
“I am Samuel Dubose”
“I am Frank Smart”
“I am Philip White”
“I am Jordan Baker”
The players concluded by saying together:
“We will not be silenced. We assert our right to peacefully protest.
“It shouldn’t take this long to admit, 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 we were wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting.”
We the National Football League believe Black Lives Matter.”
“Black Lives Matter.”
Earlier on Thursday, the NFL released this statement:
“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.”