Minneapolis is a war zone right now. Protestors are in full upheaval following a viral video that showed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin hold his knee on George Floyd’s neck, resulting in his death. A police precinct was set on fire, a Target store was destroyed and looted and a black CNN reporter was arrested on live television in Minnesota.
In response to protests to George Floyd’s death, Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. President Donald Trump called protestors “thugs” and suggested shooting the looters. Athletes and celebrities across the United States have weighed in on social media.
LeBron James reacted with a side-by-side picture of Colin Kaepernick kneeing peacefully and Chauvin kneeing aggressively on Floyd’s neck, saying “This…” “…Is Why.” Kaepernick himself also weighed in, saying “revolting is the only logical reaction” and “we have the right to fight back!”
Even former star LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is offering his opinion on the matter.
Joe Burrow On Protests: “This Is Human Rights”
The Heisman Trophy winner sympathized with the black community and told his 361,000 followers to listen following the death of George Floyd.
“The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights,” Burrow tweeted.
The former LSU Tigers quarterback and Cincinnati Bengals first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft also retweeted a video of police de-escalating a situation of a white man armed with a knife and hatchet without killing him. He retweeted one tweet that noted how police brought Dylann Roof some Burger King after he murdered nine black people, while George Floyd was killed after alleged forgery.
Some of the greatest athletes of all time have spoken out when they see injustices plaguing their nation. Muhammad Ali became a hero for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos created an iconic moment when they performed the “black power salute” at the 1968 Olympics. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe has been a proponent of equal pay and LGBTQ rights. And of course, Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
Athletes have a platform, and with that comes a duty to use it. Burrow did that during his tear-filled Heisman acceptance speech, which spurned more nearly half a million dollars in donations to an Athens, Ohio, charity.
Joe Burrow gets it. He’s more than an athlete or an NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship winner or a No. 1 pick or an NFL rookie. He has a voice and he’s using it to support those who need it. Considering we have nothing else to do during this coronavirus pandemic, maybe we should all listen to him.