Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has broken his silence over the police shooting of unarmed Black man Jacob Blake on Sunday in Wisconsin. During training camp Wednesday, the veteran manager said these remarks before taking questions from the media.
“Listen — I think you guys know, I’m into ‘team,’ I’m into peace and people getting along,” Reid said. “Right or wrong, we all need to join hands, band here, and make this world a place where we can go into each other’s neighborhoods and be comfortable and appreciate life and how important it is, how hard it is to create life. … It’s a precious thing. It’s complicated, but it’s precious. My heart goes out to Jacob and his family and that situation. I don’t know the whole story, but I just hate seeing the way things are going right now. We’re better than that, absolutely better than that. We can, if we respect each other, we’re going to be in a great place.”
Reid joins a series of athletes and coaches who have addressed the concerns about police brutality the last several days. From the looks of wide receiver Sammy Watkins’ response, Big Red said some poignant words.
Unlike the Detroit Lions’ decision to cancel practice, Reid says the decision to continue as normal came in part because of a candid and productive conversation he had between players.
“One of the great advantages that I got here is I have a great locker room that communicates, I’m able to talk to the guys and get a feel with the guys,” Reid said. “There’s obviously concern, but not to where we felt like we needed to do that. We were able to go forward on this. We also understand where things need to go. We all need to work forward on this. We got great people in this country, we need to bring that part out in us as opposed to the negative and get ourselves right.”
Reid Has Spoken Out About Police Brutality Before
This is not the first time Reid has spoken out about systemic racism or police brutality. Earlier this summer, following the death of unarmed Black man George Floyd on Memorial Day, Reid delivered an anecdote about an activity he used to do as a child and the lessons he learned from that.
“I used to do this thing with Blow Pops when I talked to kids and tried to educate,” Reid began. “This is from when I was young and up through today. I take four Blow Pops, pick three kids and say we’re going to have a bubble gum blowing contest. Within one of those Blow Pops, I take the wrapper off and put a $100 bill under the wrapper. Not one time in the 50 to 100 times I’ve given this talk has anyone picked the wrapper that was messed up, that looks like it’s been messed with, because people judge by what’s on the outside, what they see instead of getting in and enjoying what’s inside.
“If we can just put color aside and enjoy people’s culture, man, we all come from different places, we’re all wired a little different. If we can just bring it together and enjoy each other and what we’re all about, as opposed to the negative, let’s just throw that thing right out the window and get this thing right.”
A leader on and off the field, Reid is certainly setting an example across the league.