Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow was among the notable athletes to speak out Friday in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody Monday in Minneapolis, saying the black community needs our help.
They have been unheard for far too long, Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall draft pick, said Friday on Twitter. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.
The comments came after a night of outrage and unrest in Minneapolis, where Floyd, who is black, died after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for several minutes.
Chauvin was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, local authorities announced.
Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores, who is one of four minority coaches in the 32-team NFL, issued a statement Friday in the aftermath of several high-profile deaths of black people.
Many people who broadcast their opinions on kneeling [during the national anthem] or on the hiring of minorities don’t seem to have an opinion on the recent murders of these young black men and women, Flores said. I think many of them quietly say that watching George Floyd plead for help is one of the more horrible things they have seen, but it’s said amongst themselves where no one can hear. Broadcasting that opinion clearly is not important enough.
I lead a group of young men who have the potential to make a real impact in this world. My message to them and anyone else who wants to listen is that honesty, transparency and empathy go a long way in bringing people together and making change. I hope that the tragedies of the last few weeks will open our hearts and minds to a better way of communicating and hopefully create that change.