Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a native of Northern California, grew up in the largely Caucasian town of Chico. Despite this, he knows full well the issues facing minority populations in the United States.
That came in droves after Rodgers condemned tone-deaf remarks from fellow future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees earlier in the week.
Racial injustice, and the sports world’s reaction to it
On the heels of the murder of an African-American man by the name of George Floyd at the hands of a now-former Minneapolis police officer last week, the sports world has spoken up in a big way. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and rookie No. 1 pick Joe Burrow are two examples. Their takes on the racial divide in the United States were supported by some African-American leaders within the football world.
It’s certainly a divisive issue, as evidenced by Mr. Brees’ comments on Wednesday and the reaction of protesters in New Orleans later that night. However, teams are doing what they can to speak up on the ills of today’s society.
Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers team is no different.
Green Bay Packers statement
“The Packers community has been horrified at the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others. For their loved ones, the loss must be agonizingly magnified by the fact that if the victims were white, they would likely still be alive. I can’t imagine that pain,” Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement, via the team’s official website. “We condemn the systemic racism that has existed forever in this country. We stand with those raising their voices, protesting the injustices and demanding change.”
Speaking for himself, Murphy is right in that he will never know first-hand the pain African-American families go through after a loved one dies in police custody. It’s something that those in a position of power must recognize before change can be the name of the game.
Murphy later acknowledged that while focusing on accountability.
“We must all hold ourselves accountable for the ways, small and large, knowingly and unknowingly, that we have contributed to the injustices. And, without taking away from this most important focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, we can also take this time to dissect our own role in discrimination toward people with differences in gender, gender identity, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, and physical and mental abilities,” Murphy continued. “I will continue to educate myself on these issues and spend more time putting words into practice.”
Could that be seen as a veiled shot in Brees’ direction? I wouldn’t go that far. What it does show is someone who understands his role in what we’re seeing on the streets today.
Murphy also pledged a $250,000 donation to Wisconsin causes that support social justice and racial equality.