These last few months have been like something out of a horror movie.
A global pandemic—that could’ve been prevented—forced all of us who reside in ‘tHe GrEaTeSt CoUntRy In ThE wOrlD’ to seize life as we know it. Going to the grocery store felt eerily similar to an episode of The Walking Dead. And then came the horrific murder of George Floyd, which was the tip of the iceberg, in a long, unfortunate list of victims wrongfully murdered for the color of their skin.
We all saw the video.
We are ALL enraged and pissed off by the video.
And many have decided to take matters into their own hands.
Over the last two weeks, protestors have marched day and night throughout some of the largest cities in America, demanding change to the social justice system. Change, that four years prior was front and center of every paper in America thanks to the peaceful protest of Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players.
The truth is, I’m a white male, who although faced with different hurdles in life, NEVER had to deal with the same racial oppression as others. I NEVER had to fear for my life while stopped by a cop. Or murdered while jogging around the block. I never have to worry about being viewed differently because of my skin tone. I could go on all day with how fucked up society is. How inconsiderate others are to human life. But whether you admit it or not, we are all aware.
We are all created equally.
But for far too long, people have been overrun with hate.
And whether we want to sit here and admit it or not, cops have been a massive part of that problem.
No, not all cops are corrupt.
But a majority of them are corrupt and ignorant. A majority of them do believe they are above the law, and it’s time for a change.
Colin Kaepernick knew this, and the entire world turned their collective heads.
The players who protest were referred to by the president of the United States as, and I quote, ‘Sons of bitches.’
Roger Goodell admitted his wrongdoing in a statement made Thursday Night. A comment which came 24 hours after several prolific football players made one of their own. On the surface, it was a step in the right direction. But after seamlessly blackballing Kaepernick for years, the apology seemed hollow at its roots.
One speech that did effectively address everything wrong in this world was the one issued by Miami Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores.
Flores is one of only four black head coaches in the NFL. He is of Honduran descent and has spoken out before about his upbringing. And how he was affected by racial profiling.
And yet, when the entire NFL was waiting patiently to figure out the right things to say or do.
Brian Flores, the Miami Dolphins’ head coach, spoke out.
The way a leader should.
Here was Brian Flores’s message from May 29th.
“I’ve had the privilege of being a part of many different circles that have included some very powerful and influential people of all different races and genders. The events of the last few weeks have brought some of the memories of those conversations back to light. I vividly remember the Colin Kaepernick conversations. ‘Don’t ever disrespect the flag’ was the phrase that I heard over and over again. This idea that players were kneeling in support of social justice was something some people couldn’t wrap their head around. The outrage that I saw in the media and the anger I felt in some of my own private conversations caused me to sever a few long-standing friendships.
“Most recently, I’ve had conversations about incentivizing teams for hiring minorities. Again, there was some outrage in the media and talks that this would cause division amongst coaches, executives and ownership. I bring these situations up because I haven’t seen the same OUTRAGE from people of influence when the conversation turns to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and most recently George Floyd. Many people who broadcast their opinions on kneeling or on the hiring of minorities don’t seem to have an opinion on the recent murders of these young black men and women. I think many of them QUIETLY say that watching George Floyd plead for help is one of the more horrible things they have seen, but it’s said amongst themselves where no one can hear. Broadcasting THAT opinion clearly is not important enough.
“I lead a group of young men who have the potential to make a real impact in this world. My message to them and anyone else who wants to listen is that honesty, transparency, and empathy go a long way in bringing people together and making change. I hope that the tragedies of the last few weeks will open our hearts and minds to a better way of communicating and hopefully create that change.”
On Thursday, Flores once again met with the media.
No, he didn’t have to, nor was he scheduled to. But he felt it was something he should do.
There were lots of takeaways from the 20-minute conversation with Flores, which can be found HERE. But the thing that stood out most in my eyes was this.
I’ll tell you, it’s a long road. I think it’s about each individual’s heart and where is that? And making sure people’s hearts are in the right places and there is a respect and – I won’t say admiration but just an overall respect for your fellow man or woman. I think we have a long way to go and hopefully we use this tragedy as a starting point to get to the place where you’re talking about.”
In the end, Goodell’s apology was a step in the right direction for a league that spent four years trying to brush things under the rug. But until players, fans, and the rest of America see change, the words are as empty as the stadiums will surely be this fall. The time is now for America to change. And as we’ve seen over the last several days, change is imminent. Cops need to be accountable for their actions. And we need to abide by the golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
We are all equal.
Brian Flores said what the national football league should’ve said, immediately. But instead, they waited and waited and waited.
The speech was fine, but until Roger Goodell and the rest of the world live up to their end of the bargain, the same issues will remain.
And that is unacceptable.
This article was written by Josh Houtz. You can unfollow me on Twitter (@Houtz)