HOUSTON – Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and many other players are asking the NFL to make a stand against police brutality.
In a minute-long video released Thursday, players including Patrick Mahomes and Ezekiel Elliott recognized the names of black Americans who were killed by police. Ex-Texans Tyrann Mathieu and DeAndre Hopkins also participated in the video.
The players questioned if it will take one of the players being murdered by police before the league prioritized racial discrimination.
“How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players,” said Mathieu.
“We will not be silenced. We assert our right to peacefully protest. It shouldn’t take this long to admit,” the players said collectively in the video.
The players asked for the NFL to state the following:
“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and systematic oppression of black people.”
“We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting.”
“We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.”
Here is the full statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released Saturday:
"The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country. The protesters' reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. George Floyd and to those who have lost loved ones, including the families of Ms. Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, the cousin of Tracy Walker of the Detroit Lions.
As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league. These tragedies inform the NFL’s commitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners.”