Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams banded together with several other NFL stars and released a unified video across social media on Thursday night, calling for the league to speak up, make admissions and “believe black lives matter.”
Adams was one of 18 NFL players who contributed to the video, which also featured: Jamal Adams, Saquon Barkley, Anthony Barr, Odell Beckham Jr., Ezekiel Elliott, Stephon Gilmore, DeAndre Hopkins, Eric Kendricks, Jarvis Landry, Marshon Lattimore, Patrick Mahomes, Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Paterson, Sterling Shepard, Michael Thomas, Deshaun Watson and Chase Young — the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
“We will not be silenced,” the NFL players said in the video. “We assert our right to peacefully protest. It shouldn’t take this long to admit. So, on behalf of the National Football League, this is what we, the players, would like to hear you state. ‘We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.'”
The video comes after more than a week of protests across the United States following the police killing of George Floyd while he was in custody in Minneapolis. Dozens of professional athletes have since spoken out, some sharing their own messages on social media while others have participated in protests around various American cities.
The players’ call-out video also dropped just hours after the NFL released a statement that pledged some positive things but failed to acknowledge the league’s own wrongdoing, including how it reacted to player protests several seasons ago. They started after quarterback Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to protest systemic racism and oppression.
“This is a time of self-reflection for all — the NFL is no exception,” the league’s statement read. “We stand with the black community because Black Lives Matter. Through Inspire Change, the NFL, Players and our partners have supported programs and initiatives throughout the country to address systemic racism. We will continue using our platform to challenge the injustice around us. To date we have donated $44 million to support hundreds of worthy organizations. This year, we are committing an additional $20 million to these causes and we will accelerate efforts to highlight their critical work. We know that we can and need to do more.”
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Adams, Packers Also Spoke up as a Team
Adams has stayed plenty active on his social media accounts since Floyd’s death on May 25, so it wasn’t surprising to find him among the NFL stars pushing for change and accountability. Though, his team-up with others around the league wasn’t his first video appearance of the day, as the Packers had also come together earlier Thursday for a video of their own.
“We’re here today to say no more,” Adams says in the Packers’ team video, later continuing: “Racism is taught and learned, it’s not something you’re born with. Let’s do a better job of educating our youth and the younger people behind us.”
Adams has tweeted some other thoughts since Floyd’s death, including how the situation makes him “scared to raise a young black man in today’s world.” He has also retweeted some video clips of ongoing police brutality against protesters as well as other sentiments shared by his fellow NFL players.