Eagles Great Forgives Drew Brees, America Needs to ‘Huddle Up’

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Troy Vincent had been biting his tongue and standing on the sideline in recent days. Not anymore, not after his daughter encouraged him to join the fight.

She told the legendary five-time Pro Bowl cornerback for the Eagles that he needed to use his public platform to call for social justice reform. The best way to do that, according to Vincent, is to build off the current conversations taking place around the country on racism. Those voices need to turn into action, and eventually into solutions.

“We have to turn that action into solution,” Vincent said on NFL Network. “That starts with you, one, registering to vote, both in your local market and nationally. This is how we put voice to action. Keep having civil conversations.”

Vincent, who serves as NFL executive vice president of football operations, was quick to remind everyone that football fans love cheering for their favorite players on gamedays. But what happens after the lights go off? How are those players viewed once the helmets and jerseys come off? Those are the uncomfortable conversations that need to be had. That is the gap that needs to be bridged.

“The fans love cheering for the player. They love him on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays. When he takes the jersey off, we go silent. That cannot happen,” Vincent said. “The player is asking that when the helmet comes off, I need you to love me beyond my jersey. Beyond me entertaining you on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays.”

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America Needs the Locker Room, America Needs a ‘Huddle Up’

When Drew Brees first made remarks last week about on-field protesting being disrespectful to the flag and to the military, he was eviscerated by both his peers and those in the media. It was insensitive, borderline racist.

However, Brees’ teammates in the locker room were quick to jump to his defense. Guys like Michael Thomas and Joe Horn claimed that the Saints quarterback was a good person who didn’t understand the issues. On Tuesday, Vincent joined in that sentiment and asked everyone to “forgive Drew for that comment.” He explained that America needs a “huddle up.”

“America needs the locker room. We need a huddle up,” Vincent told NFL Network. “The one thing America does well is we learn how to adjust. We learn how to co-exist and love one another inside that common goal. We saw the ugliness of our country on camera. We’ve been seeing it. Now the global world is now calling the timeout. These issues of racism are all of our issues.”

Vincent was comparing the country to the environment found inside an NFL locker room. It can be volatile at times but it’s imperative everyone gets on the same page. Let’s work together and forgive each other, and let’s understand exactly what the fight is about. Remember, the Black Lives Matter movement is a peaceful one.

“Black Lives Matter has been misconceived as this militant movement. No, no, stop it. Timeout,” Vincent said. “We just wanted you to know that our lives matter as well. Life is precious. Let’s speak now into action.”


Hometown Hero Inducted into Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame

Vicent was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame last November in a nostalgic ceremony at a downtown casino. He was joined on the dais by former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and a few other famous Philly athletes like hoops star Rasheed Wallace and baseball star Mike Scioscia.

For Vincent, it was a time to reflect on how far he had come as in his professional life. The 50-year-old grew up in nearby Trenton, NJ and attended Pennsbury High School before playing 16 years in the NFL. He finished his career with 47 interceptions, including 28 of those picks for his hometown Eagles. Vincent was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1992 before joining the Eagles in 1996 where he spent eight seasons, arguably the best stretch of his career.

“Jeffrey (Lurie) gave me an opportunity to come back here in 1996 and be part of the Eagles football family,” said Vincent, via the Eagles’ official website. “It was a kid’s dream. I played local high school football just a couple miles from Veterans Stadium and was fortunate to come back here and be able to play in front of my family and neighborhood friends … it’s a special time and moment.”

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