Joe Burrow said "the black community needs our help" as the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback spoke out on the death of George Floyd.
Floyd – an African-American man – died in Minneapolis after a police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck for at least eight minutes during the arrest.
Violent protests have broken out across the United States since Floyd's death on Monday, after he was filmed crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.
Burrow – the number one pick in this year's NFL Draft – used social media to have his say amid the fierce backlash and riots.
The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) May 29, 2020
"The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn't politics. This is human rights," Burrow tweeted on Friday.
Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores also addressed the issue that has engulfed the country.
Flores, who is one of four minority coaches in the 32-team NFL, said in a statement: "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 incentivising 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.
Statement from Head Coach Brian Flores. pic.twitter.com/dJOdHHSvNT— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) May 29, 2020
"Many people who broadcast their opinions on kneeling [during the national anthem] 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."
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