New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins and other athletes are demanding that Americans go all in for the social justice movement to “make things better” for the black community.
In a video produced for ESPN’s ESPYs awards and shown on Sunday evening, Jenkins joined athletes and entertainers calling for social justice including, Muslim Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, NBA player Donovan Mitchell, actor Kendrick Sampson, and a dozen others.
Jenkins appeared on stage during the ESPYs and told the crowd, “There’s no going back, there’s no inching forward. The time is now.”
The Saints player insisted that he jumped into action in 2016 but lamented that “only a fraction of us answered that call,” in the NFL. He added, “But history has shown us the impact that only a few voices can make.”
The ESPYs played the video for the audience that included Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad saying, “I don’t know what more we, as a sports community, need to see than a white police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck and ripping his life from him, and having to see that for eight minutes and 46 seconds was heart-wrenching.”
Next came Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell who added, “too often we forget about black women like Breonna Taylor. We call on our white counterparts to use their voices and talk about real change and how they will make it happen.”
"This is the tipping point. There's no going back. There's no inching forward. The time is now."
Stars from the sports and entertainment worlds say it's time to step up and do their part to make this country better. pic.twitter.com/Fttyl8to0v
— ESPN (@espn) June 22, 2020
The video then included quick takes from such personalities as Zach and Julie Ertz, Diana Taurasi, Breanna Stewart, Kyle Shanahan, Lindsey Vonn, Chris Long, Steve Kerr and Mark Cuban pledging to work for equitable health care and public school funding, as well as state measures to “encourage rather than suppress voting.”
Steve Kerr added that kneeling during the time Americans are supposed to stand in respect for the flag and country “isn’t about the flag.”
The NBA coach pledged to “educate people that kneeling in protest never has been, and never will be, about disrespecting the flag or the men and women who serve our country.” Next, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he would “create equitable ways for black and brown business owners to gain access to capital.”
The video ends with the collected group saying, “I will continue to use my platform to speak out and dismantle systemic racism that black Americans have faced for over 400 years.”
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