You have to love people who step up despite the obstacles they face and opposition they encounter in order to do what’s right.
After the events in Chalottesville this past weekend, athletes from across the world of sports voiced their opinions in regards to racism, nazis and Trump. This includes Charlottesville native, UVA alum and current Philadelphia Eagle defensive end Chris Long, whose opinions can be seen in the video below:
Athlete Responses To Charlottesville
The son of Howie Long, Chris is no stranger to speaking out, especially when it comes to social issues. Last season while in New England, when asked by ESPN Radio’s Rusillo and Kanell about Kaepernick’s movement and the actions of teammates Martellus Bennett and Devin McCourty, who both supported the then 49ers’ quarterback by partaking in similar gestures, Long answered with the following:
Ill make it pretty clear: I support my peers in exercising their right to protest. This is a wonderful country, and I think everyone agrees on that, but there are things in our country that can improve. I dont think that by acknowledging as a white male that America isnt the same for me, maybe, as it is for everybody, the same great place, that were complicit in the problem or that were saying America isnt a great place. If were saying there are incidents of oppression in this country, systematically or individually in this country, I dont think saying, Well, in country X, Y or Z its 10 times worse is making things any better. I think that may be true, but why cant we improve? I play in a league thats 70 percent black and my peers, guys I come to work with, guys I respect who are very socially aware and are intellectual guys, if they identify something that they think is worth putting their reputations on the line, creating controversy, Im going to listen to those guys.
And I respect the anthem. I would never kneel for it. We all come from different walks of life and think differently about the anthem and the flag and what that means. But I think you can respect and find a lot of truth in what these guys are talking about, and not kneel. Those arent mutually exclusive ideas. Listen, its been complicated. Its brought out a lot of what we as fans and players think about the anthem; a lot of strong feelings on both sides.
But I think we can all agree we love our vets. We love the vast majority of officers of law enforcement. But they are human beings too and there are isolated incidents that need to be better and I think all guys are saying is Listen, most people might be great cops, great people that protect our communities, but when there are injustices, lets find justice for those situations. I respect my peers, I respect Colin. Colin has really put his reputation on the line. Hes taken a beating. Hes also had support. I dont think he did it for publicity. And listen, Im just going to listen to my peers because I respect those guys, and I cant put myself in their shoes.
Long was also not hesitant in jumping into the situation which erupted over Michael Vick’s comments on Kap’s choice of hair style.
Vick thing is confusing bc he says that CK is unemployed bc of performance, but a haircut will help. What am I missing there?
I’m not a leftist, moron. I’m trying to make sense of why 1 of the best 32 QBs on doesn’t have a job + we’re talking about his haircut? https://t.co/k3j6CCbJ13
I had a dirty mullet last year + worked for that company you love. You know, the 1 w the 5 rings on your background that you’ll never touch. https://t.co/RrwfzmNEux
Through all of his tweets and statements, it’s very apparent that Chris Long was raised right and is not afraid to stand up for what’s right. So when things erupted in his hometown of Charlottesville, including all of Trump’s ridiculous, ignorant and foolish responses, Long ignited his Twitter account to voice his support of his hometown and those fighting against the racism and white nationalism.
Wow… to think that failure to condemn white supremacy is a form of political self preservation in America right now…. tough day.
Then tonight, during the team’s preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, Long continued to put his money where his mouth is by supporting his Eagles’ teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, by keeping his hand on Jenkins’ back during the national anthem while Jenkins raise his fist in support of those fighting racism and social injustice.
Chris Long stands with Malcolm Jenkins during his anthem protest in a very powerful moment. (via @AP_Sports)
“I’ve heard a lot of people say you need white athletes to get involved in the anthem protests. I’ve said before I’ll never kneel for an anthem because the flag means something different for everybody in this country, but I support my peers,” said Long when asked about his gesture. “And if you don’t see why you need allies for people that are fighting for equality right now, I don’t think you’ll ever see it. So my thing is, Malcolm is a leader and I’m here to show support as a white athlete.”
Michael Bennett had said that what would really bring about change would be if a white athlete in the NFL protested with Black players, and today we witnessed what could be the start of more solidarity between white and black teammates as it relates to the fight against social injustice.
“I think it is important to show, especially for a white male to show that although these problems don’t necessarily affect you, you can still see the significance in it, you can still be in support of your brothers that are going through it,” said Jenkins, echoing Bennett’s statements made yesterday on ESPN’s SC6.
Now let’s see if more teammates will join together to fight for an end to the obvious blackballing that Colin Kaepernick is suffering from.