Almost every professional sports team in the world has issued a statement regarding the George Floyd situation. On Tuesday, the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft represented his franchise with a statement.
As have the leaders of most major organizations, Kraft addressed the long-standing issue black Americans and people of color have experienced in this country.
Robert Kraft’s Statement
This letter was distributed on all of the Patriots’ social media
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Kraft’s Message Compared to Ben and Jerry’s
While Kraft’s statement had its share of empathy and commitment, there wasn’t a ton of specific action mentioned. Compare what Kraft and the Patriots released to a statement from Ben and Jerry’s (the ice cream company), and there is much more emphasis to feel in the latter.
The entire message is linked here, but here are a few key paragraphs:
All of us at Ben & Jerry’s are outraged about the murder of another Black person by Minneapolis police officers last week and the continued violent response by police against protestors. We have to speak out. We have to stand together with the victims of murder, marginalization, and repression because of their skin color, and with those who seek justice through protests across our country. We have to say his name: George Floyd.
That opening is powerful, but the concept of the post is driven home even more with the mentions of other African-Americans who have been murdered in the United States by law enforcement–or those acting as officers.
Floyd is the latest in a long list of names that stretches back to that time and that shore. Some of those names we know — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Emmett Till, Martin Luther King, Jr. — most we don’t.
Lastly, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream also make it clear: there are four things they are calling for from the government, President Donald Trump, and others in power.
First, we call upon President Trump, elected officials, and political parties to commit our nation to a formal process of healing and reconciliation.
Second, we call upon the Congress to pass H.R. 40, legislation that would create a commission to study the effects of slavery and discrimination from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.
Third, we support Floyd’s family’s call to create a national task force that would draft bipartisan legislation aimed at ending racial violence and increasing police accountability.
And finally, we call on the Department of Justice to reinvigorate its Civil Rights Division as a staunch defender of the rights of Black and Brown people.
There is an easy-to-see difference in the two messages, and others are recognizing one of the Patriots’ connections to Trump as a reason not to believe in Kraft’s commitment to racial equality.
Because of this, many Patriots fans and others took to Twitter to question Kraft’s intention and genuineness.
Hopefully, Kraft and Co. do enough to change the minds of many people in the target demographic for racial injustice.
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