In the days since George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, citizens of the United States and their allies around the world have taken to the streets to protest a system that has continuously oppressed black Americans.
While tensions have risen — descending some protests into violence and with clashes with police — prominent Philadelphia sports teams and athletes are finding their voice to speak out against the injustices that have come to a head with Floyd’s death:
We don’t have the answers, but this much we know… We believe in racial equality without exception, and our hearts are broken.
For Philadelphia and the nation, we join the chorus calling for justice, the elimination of systemic racism, unity, and peace.
Our black community and people of color continue to face racism, prejudice, and injustice. It is unacceptable and we cannot and will not tolerate it in our community. Now, more than ever, we must strive for accountability, including ensuring that our community is treated with fairness, transparency, and dignity.
We must stay united and strong during the conflict and hurt we are experiencing.
The 76ers are committed to using our voice and taking action to support and drive change that is long overdue.
For our city. For our country. For our future. For each other.
Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder
I’ve been trying to come up with words for this post. Trying to write the right things and trying to get my mind and heart wrapped around this. I grew up on the East Side of Las Vegas around many different cultures knowing one thing — My parents taught me to love everyone equally, regardless of the color of their skin, where they came from, young or old.
Our Heavenly Father made us this way, as unique individuals, so we would all come together and do everything we could to get back to him one day. To love one another, to build each other up, to root for one another, and to be ONE with each other.
I will never know what it is like to be an African American man, woman or child. The one thing I do know is I will always stand with them and for them. I will always be there when they need me. I will always have their backs, knowing they have always had mine. I will love my brothers and sisters and will teach my son to love all as well.
To the Floyd family, and to all the other families that have experienced trauma, loss of life, inequality, racism, and hatred — I am so sorry for that. This world that we live in should have no room for it. We as Americans have to come together and stop this in all walks of life. I will listen, speak up, love, stand, and act for what I believe is right. I will never stop!! I love you all my brothers and sisters! We are ONE!
Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles center
Systemic racism is unquestionable in our society, the numbers are irrefutable. Hopefully, our society will continue to hold ourselves and our government to higher standards as leaders of the free world. “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that ALL MEN are CREATED EQUAL, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” — that sentence was written over two centuries ago, and we still aren’t there. As Americans, I believe it is our duty to hold our country accountable to those words, it’s the only way we will ever get there.
Whether you are Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Socialist, none of that should matter, and it frustrates me to see people making this incident party rhetoric. A man was killed! Only Officer Chauvin knows what his intentions were, but what we all know, is another unarmed black man was killed. Police officers are custodians of Justice, and serve to protect our community and its inhabitants. But this is not justice, this was not protection of our community, and there must be accountability. Our institutions must hold Chauvin accountable for his actions. Please stay safe to everyone out there protesting and exercising your constitutional rights for a better future.