Prominent NFL players are calling for the league to "believe Black Lives Matter" in a powerful video posted to their Twitter and Instagram accounts.
"It's been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered," the video begins. "How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players? What will it take? For one of use to be murdered by police brutality? What if I was George Floyd?”
Chiefs quarterback and Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr, Cardinals stars D’Andre Hopkins and Patrick Peterson, Texan quarterback Deshaun Watson, Browns receiver Jarvis Landry, Redskins defensive lineman Chase Young, Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas, Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore and Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, Giants running back Saquon Barkley, Giants receiver Sterling Shepard, and Jets safety Jamal Adams were all featured in the video, as the New York Post notes.
The players then say "I am..." followed by the names of unarmed African-Americans whose deaths have sparked outrage and ignited nationwide protests against injustice, including George Floyd, 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.
The NFL previously released a statement that read, “This is a time of self-reflection for all — the NFL is no exception. We stand with the black community because Black Lives Matter.” The players addressed this too, imploring the NFL to say something more substantial.
“On behalf of the National Football League this is what we, the players would like to hear you state,” the players say in the video. “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.”
The statement comes after New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said that kneeling during the National Anthem was "disrespecting the flag," in reference to the protesting method Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players participated in.
Brees was criticized by many athletes for his statement, including Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, who continues to be outspoken about social and racial justice issues.
After Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham defended Brees' right to state his political views, James rebuked her for coining the infamous phrase "shut up and dribble" in response to his past statements about political and social topics.
James' latest response is a simple but poignant video that explains why he and other athletes can't and won't "stick to sports." Check it out above.