Packers players both former and present aren’t “sticking to sports” in times where continuous injustice is met by public outrage. George Floyd was heinously murdered by a police officer, and that can never be forgiven or ignored. It actually needs to be met head-on by anyone with a voice. Eye rolling and tuning out professional athletes who speak out on personal opinions must recognize this is a freedom granted to all of us. Why should they remain silent when we all have a platform to speak on? Athletes have a larger audience that many of us don’t, and that itself is extremely powerful. As a show of courtesy and because it’s the right thing to do, we all should listen when their message deplores those that are intolerable.
Last week, safety Adrian Amos made a call to action. While speaking with Wisconsin media, Amos addressed the inequality and racism our country experiences every day, longing for change.
“We’re seeing a lot of situations like (Floyd’s death) repeat itself,” he said (via Madison.com). “It’s a sensitive subject for a lot of people, but I think it’s something that needs to be more than just talked about. We need to start coming up with different solutions to avoid situations where people are losing their lives.”
Wide receiver Davante Adams took to Twitter where he has over 230,000 followers. Adams understands the current issues we face as a nation can not be described as white and black. Instead, he called for a fight against those that are intolerable. Admittingly, he recognizes it may not be a winnable battle, however, accepting the fact and doing nothing to protest the constant wrongdoings against people of color is much worse. Although, there are better ways than absolute destruction.
Green Bay offensive guard Billy Turner is from Minneapolis. Recently, he spoke with Matt Schneidman of The Athletic to offer his viewpoint as an African American so white people can better understand what is going on and also discuss ways he plans to help in his community in turmoil. Despite the recent events in his home city, Turner is optimistic about the future and what he can do as an athlete with a wider audience.
But where do we go from here?
The ex-police officer who killed Floyd has been arrested and charged. His fellow officers who stood by and did nothing have been relieved of their duties and could also face charges. And yet, it still isn’t enough, which is why chaos has ensued.
The justice system and policing in this country remain broken. African Americans are shot and arrested at an alarming rate without repercussions.
How is that law enforcement from all over the country can recognize that the arresting officer kneeling on Floyd was against protocol? Why are men in uniform not uniform when it comes to policy and procedure? Everyone should be learning the same practices, and that is more than achievable if it is spearheaded by the right people with authority.
Until we as the people and our leaders admit that policing needs to be more consistent across the board, African Americans and other people of color will still be unfairly targeted. It seems like a simple solution but it isn’t. More change and internal reflection will have to follow, but for now, just do the right thing by bringing everyone together and taking responsibility for an imperfect justice system.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.