Sports

Packers players, coach Matt LaFleur speak out in social justice video


Twelve prominent Green Bay Packers players and coach Matt LaFleur released a powerful video message in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests over his killing.

While players, coaches and organizations around the NFL have made separate statements, the Packers released a combined message via their social media and website Thursday morning.

Among the messages in the video:

“The inhumane murder of George Floyd has become a far-too-common image in America,” cornerback Kevin King said.

“I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed as a human,” guard Billy Turner said.

“We’re here today to say, ‘No more,'” wide receiver Davante Adams said.

“People who look like me should not be afraid around law enforcement,” safety Adrian Amos said.

“We need structural reform, not only from the community but from law enforcement in a collaborative way,” tight end Marcedes Lewis said.

“Antiquated laws and legislation needs to be amended or repealed, especially those that are prejudicially biased to people of color,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.

“Racism is taught and learned; it’s not something you’re born with. Let’s do a better job of educating our youth and younger people behind us,” Adams said.

“We come up with real solutions to make significant change. The right actions speak a lot louder than the right words,” coach Matt LaFleur said.

Floyd, who is black, was killed last week in Minneapolis when a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. It was captured on video. Chauvin and three other police officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were fired but not charged with crimes until several days later, sparking protests around the country. On Wednesday, Chauvin’s charge was upgraded to unintentional second-degree murder, while the other three were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The Packers’ video closed with players, under the header “It’s time to act,” saying:

“We ask that you commit to listening with an open heart,” Rodgers said.

“It’s time we all educate ourselves and put action to words,” center Corey Linsley said.

Then several players offered the same closing message: “It’s time for a change.”

In all, the players who offered messages were: Turner, Amos, Linsley, Rodgers, King, Lewis, Clark, Adams, kicker Mason Crosby, running back Aaron Jones, tackle David Bakhtiari and linebacker Preston Smith.



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