Sean Payton didn’t mince words in his statement on George Floyd

Sean Payton made a strong statement on the death of George Floyd. 

Details matter and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is here to coach everyone up on exactly how to phrase conversations about police brutality.

Payton took to social media to join the ongoing conversation as protests continue across the country in response to the death of George Floyd. Most of the conversations have centered on reaction to the protests turning violent, with many urging those upset at the destruction of property to not lose sight of the fact that some shattered glass does not hold equal value to that of human life.

Not only did Payton want to show his support, but he also used his platform and privilege to make sure we’re all using the right vernacular when describing the source of anger and pain rippling across he country.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton posts message on George Floyd’s death

In Payton’s mind, we need to start calling what happened as murder.

George Floyd was not simply killed on video as many news reports have phrased, he was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer. Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot point-blank by two white men while jogging in Georgia, was also described as being ‘killed on video’.

Murder is only legally applied after conviction. For Payton, there’s already more than enough evidence to draw that conclusion.

“Were Murdered
not Killed on Video.
How many have we not seen?
22 weeks from today for change.”

Payton’s remarks also make reference to Breonna Taylor, who was killed when Louisville forcefully entered her home in the middle of the night and shot her. There’s video undeniable footage of Arbery and Floyd dying, but not of Taylor. She is one of the innumerable black Americans subjected to the police brutality being protested that so often goes ignored because there isn’t a viral video of the abuse.

That’s what Payton, a white man in a position of power and authority, is using his platform to call attention to. Posting about change and acting on influencing change are two wildly different things, but Payton’s message stands out both because of who he is and who he works for. The NFL’s down-the-middle statement has been widely lampooned, but it seems that even if the league missed the mark at least some who work inside it get the message.

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