Eagles QB Speaks Out on ‘Institutional Racism’ in America

Carson Wentz

Getty Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz

Racial injustice and blatant discrimination has reached a fever pitch in America. Unarmed black men are dying at an alarming rate at the hands of police officers, the same people meant to protect them.

The tragic and senseless death of George Floyd has (finally, hopefully) opened the country’s eyes to the evils of racism, a scourge far worse than the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately, it has also led to vile destruction and retaliatory violence in the riotous streets of Minneapolis. Nothing is sacred and everyone is confused.

Many professional athletes are using their high-profile public platforms to work on behalf of change and help raise awareness, including Carson Wentz. The Eagles quarterback posted a poignant and (self-admitted) “rambling” Twitter statement as he tried to make sense over the 46-year-old’s strangulation death due to police brutality.

Wentz started by confessing that he grew up in a mostly white community, not surrounded by people of color. He wasn’t about to pretend to know what the black community is going through. However, the North Dakota native vowed to raise his newborn daughter in a tolerant way and condemned “institutional racism.”

“Been thinking about the George Floyd situation and thinking of the words to say and coming up empty. All I know is that the institutional racism in this country breaks my heart and needs to stop,” Wentz wrote. “Can’t even fathom what the black community has to endure on a daily basis. Being from North Dakota, I’ve spent a large part of my life surrounded by people of similar color, so I’m not gonna act like I know what the black community goes through or even has gone through already. I’ll never know the feeling of having to worry about my kids going outside because of their skin color.”

“However, I do know that we are all equal at the foot of the cross and Jesus taught us to value others’ lives like they are our own — regardless of skin tone,” Wentz continued. “So, this might seem like a ramble — and perhaps it is. I don’t understand the society we live that doesn’t value all human life. It’s heartbreaking and disturbing. My hearts and prayers go out to every man, woman, and child that has to endure the effects of the racism in our society.”

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Eagles ‘Allies’ in Raising Awareness for Social Injustice

Wentz’s words spoke volumes as both the leader of the Philadelphia Eagles and as a white man. It hearkened to mind an incident from the preseason in 2017 involving former Eagles players Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long.

Jenkins had been holding up a fist in protest of social and racial injustice during the singing of the national anthem. On this night, Long wanted to show his support and he did so by draping his arm on Jenkins’ shoulder. The gesture sparked a national debate on how the white and black communities should be working together.

“He approached me about an hour before the game and said that he wanted to, that he’d been thinking about it, and that he wanted to show some symbol of support,” Jenkins told ESPN’s Bob Ley in 2017 (h/t to Adam Hermann), “and we talked over what that would look like and he settled on just a simple arm around my shoulder while I continued my demonstration. His message was that more white men need to position themselves as allies.”

“If you don’t see why you need allies for people that are fighting for equality right now, I don’t think you’ll ever see it,” Long said at the time, via The Inquirer. “My thing is Malcolm’s a leader and I’m here to show support as a white athlete.”

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