NFL Star Von Miller Pens Essay on Racism for “Time” Magazine

The Denver Broncos linebacker wrote about George Floyd, race and the protests

NFL Star Von Miller Pens Essay on Racism for "Time" Magazine
Broncos linebacker Von Miller leads a march at a protest on June 6, 2020 in Denver. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty)
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Days after leading a march in Denver demonstrating against the murder of George Floyd, Broncos linebacker Von Miller wrote about the impact of his death, racism and the ongoing protests in the U.S. in an essay for Time. 

In the piece “Help Me, I Can’t Breathe,” the eight-time Pro Bowler said he had been crying at least once a day since Floyd’s death and that the killing reminded him of the pain he first felt when he was called a racial slur in elementary school.

“The pain sears me every day, now,” he wrote. “It’s an emotional pain. It’s a physical pain. It is the pain of oppression in a country that’s supposed to be free.”

Miller, who said he is advocating for “unity, equality and justice,” continued: “Many of us have seen this day coming, but let’s not get it twisted. The social upheaval we are witnessing is not about one horrific incident in Minneapolis. This has been building up for years, decades, generations. We can either confront it for what it is and make it an inflection point in the arc of our nation’s history, or we can become complicit in the perpetuation of our disease because we refuse to admit we are ill. This time may be different. I pray that it is different. This time, many of the protesters are not black. This time, the entire country is engaged. This time, the entire world has taken notice. We have really begun to talk with each other, not just ‘at’ each other. If we can find the strength to come together as a people and fight for healing and change, then together we can enjoy the sunshine of our American ideals. If we do not choose this course, we can expect the darkness to remain.”

While addressing the crowd at the march over the weekend, the 31-year-old touched on some of the same topics he wrote about for Time.

It will be interesting to see how other NFL players use their platform to protest going forward, especially now that the league has given them the green light to do so.

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