Sports | June 5, 2020 11:17 am

NFL Stars Call on League to Condemn Racism in Viral Video

Players in the video include Patrick Mahomes, Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr.

Players in the video include Patrick Mahomes, Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr.
Patrick Mahomes is one of many players calling on the NFL to condemn racism.
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

In a video posted to social media on Thursday night, NFL stars including Patrick Mahomes, Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. called on the NFL to condemn racism and admit wrongdoing in asking players not to peacefully protest racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.

In the 70-second video — which also features stars like Deshaun Watson, Ezekiel Elliott, Jamal Adams, Jarvis Landry, Stephon Gilmore and DeAndre Hopkins — the players take turns speaking to the camera and list off the names of Black people who have been killed by police and in other racially motivated cases including George Floyd, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

The video concludes with the following statement and a request: “We will not be silenced. We assert our right to peacefully protest. It shouldn’t take this long to admit. So, on behalf of the National Football League, this is what we, the players, would like to hear you state. ‘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.’”

Earlier Thursday, the NFL posted the following to its official Instagram account:

“This is a time of self-reflection for all — the NFL is no exception. We stand with the black community because Black Lives Matter. Through Inspire Change, the NFL, Players and our partners have supported programs and initiatives throughout the country to address systemic racism. We will continue using our platform to challenge the injustice around us. To date we have donated $44 million to support hundreds of worthy organizations. This year, we are committing an additional $20 million to these causes and we will accelerate efforts to highlight their critical work. We know that we can and need to do more.”


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One of the players in the video, Michael Thomas, was one of many New Orleans Saints to call out quarterback Drew Brees for saying he thought players kneeling during the national anthem was disrespectful. After Brees apologized multiple times for what he had said, Thomas posted on social media that his apology had been accepted. 

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