Athletes Invoke Colin Kaepernick in Response to George Floyd Protests


The outbreak of civil unrest initiated by the demise of George Floyd has led to an uncommon outpouring from gamers, coaches and officers in the N.F.L., which has wrestled publicly with problems with race and racism greater than different leagues. In some cases, nonetheless, longstanding disputes about whether or not the league takes the problem severely sufficient have been rekindled.

For a number of years, discussions about race in the N.F.L. have largely centered on Colin Kaepernick and the kneeling marketing campaign he started to increase consciousness of earlier bouts of racial injustice and brutality towards African-American folks by the hands of the police. While some black gamers got here to his protection, the quarterback has been with out a job in soccer and reached a settlement with the N.F.L. over his accusation that he had been blackballed.

This time, a broader vary of gamers and workforce officers has chosen to communicate out. Brian Flores, one of many 4 black or Latino coaches in the league, stated in a searing assertion that he misplaced buddies in the N.F.L. due to their opposition to Kaepernick, and he urged those that had been in opposition to his protests to present comparable outrage over the killing of Floyd.

“Many people who broadcast their opinions on kneeling 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 stated.

In distinction to earlier outcries over racial injustice, some white gamers have added their voices this time on the subject, which has been a 3rd rail in a league the place three-quarters of the gamers are African-American but nearly each proprietor and prime workforce govt is white. Only a number of white gamers had joined or supported their black teammates after they took a knee throughout the enjoying of the nationwide anthem in current years.

“I don’t understand the society we live in that doesn’t value all human life,” Carson Wentz, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, wrote Thursday on Twitter. “My prayers go out to every man, woman, and child that has to endure the effects of racism in our society.”

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team urged a diversity of voices to call out social injustice and police brutality.

“For those who are not black, silence is the biggest betrayal right now,’’ the statement said. “The hardest part is watching friends who are not of color not even question what is happening right now. It’s time for us to start preaching togetherness, justice, and love amongst one another.”

Doc Rivers, the coach of the N.B.A.’s Los Angeles Clippers, recalled racial abuse he had experienced and urged society to have a conversation around race however uncomfortable it might be.

“My father was a 30-year veteran of the Chicago police department, and if he were still with us right now, he’d be hurt and outraged by the senseless acts of racial injustice that continue to plague our country,” Rivers said. “Being black in America is tough. I’ve personally been called more racial slurs than I can count, been pulled over many times because of the color of my skin, and even had my home burned down.”

The outpouring from players and coaches comes as most sports leagues remain shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. So far, players have not spoken in front of television cameras or had to reckon with the reactions of tens of thousands of fans, some of whom jeered players who protested in 2017.



Source link Nytimes.com

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