Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, general manager Thomas Dimitroff, and several players took part in a peaceful protest to honor Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, three black lives senselessly killed by officers.
According to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, Falcons players such as Ricardo Allen, LaRoy Reynolds, Tyeler Davison, and Mykal Walker all participated. Assistant coaches Doug Mallory and Bernie Parmalee attended as well and even the media relations staff which included David Bassity, Matt Haley, and Gaby Moran, and others.
One of Allen’s children held up a sign that read: “America has no problem standing up for them on game day! Black Lives Matter.”
While Allen held up one reading: ” Why don’t you love me without my jersey?”
Ricardo Allen with another powerful photo from today’s peacefully protest (courtesy of Allen) pic.twitter.com/ze1D9cO2Wc
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) June 7, 2020
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Organized By ‘Buckhead4blacklives’
A group of 12 students called Buckhead4blacklives organized the protest almost a week ago.
The leaders of the group age from 16-20, with the youngest being high school junior Ryan Mutombo, the son of former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo who also took part in the protest.
The protest was nothing but peaceful and featured a three-minute kneel by the entire crowd and a moment silence to honor the unnecessary lives lost due to racial injustice.
Atlanta Falcons Taking Action
After having Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speak to the team last week, many Falcons players took mental notes, including Coach Quinn and Dimitroff.
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) June 7, 2020
“What I’ve learned about leadership is that it is about other people, and we have to hold ourselves accountable to help those around us,” Quinn said in a statement. “That’s what I wanted to do today.”
Dimitroff went on to say, “I’ve always believed we are all created equal and should be treated as such but have passively held back my voice,. I’ve decided it’s time for me to step up and take action.”
Rodger Goodell Apologizes
“It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country,” Goodell said. “First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all the families who have endured police brutality. We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter. I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much needed change in this country.
“Without black players, there would be no National Football League. And the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff. We are listening. I am listening, and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”