Joe Burrow speaks out on George Floyd killing and police protests

The NFL’s next big star, Joe Burrow, has spoken out on the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests that have gripped Minneapolis and other cities.

Today’s news has been a steady roll of footage from chaotic protests in Minneapolis and other US cities, sparked by the killing of George Floyd. He was killed last weekend in Minneapolis, as a police office knelt on his neck for several minutes while Floyd lay on the ground in handcuffs, repeatedly telling the officer he couldn’t breathe. The officers were responding to a call about a suspected forgery (passing a bad check) and Floyd was unarmed.

Horrifying video of the incident has been spread widely and protests have intensified with frustrations over this specific incident, its place in an enduring pattern of racially charged police violence and the fact that the officers involved might escape justice. All four officers were fired but it wasn’t until Friday afternoon that Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, was arrested.

Joe Burrow says, “This isn’t politics. This is human rights.”

Several athletes have spoken out about Floyd and the protests and now Joe Burrow, the No. 1 pick in this spring’s NFL Draft has spoken up as well.

It’s somewhat unexpected to see Burrow speaking out on this issue, not just because of the color of his skin, but because he’s also yet to take a snap in the NFL and despite his college credentials is not established in the NFL. It’s sad to say but given how the league and many of its fans responded to the nonviolent protests of police violence by Colin Kaepernick, there could be real and meaningful ramifications for Burrow here.

Burrow hasn’t been afraid to use his clout for a good cause in the past. He used his Heisman acceptance speech to talk about poverty and food insecurity in his native Athens County in Ohio, an act for which he was largely celebrated. Wouldn’t it be nice if the reaction to this call for listening and understanding was as unanimously celebrated?

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