The owners of the New England Patriots are speaking out about how they can be a part of the fight against racial injustice following the recent killing of George Floyd.
On Tuesday, the Kraft family issued a statement on social media calling for the “healing” of the nation as these “horrific incidents” continue to happen across the country, some of which go unnoticed or unreported.
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“Over the last several days, we have tried to listen, learn and reflect. We have been at a loss for the appropriate words, perhaps because there are none to adequately describe the horrific incidents of the last few weeks,” the statement began.
The family said that while it is “impossible for us to comprehend what happened to George Floyd or the pain his family must be feeling,” they hope to be a “part of the change” moving forward and to speak up as “leaders in the New England community.”
“We are horrified by the acts of racism we’ve witnessed. We are heartbroken for the families who have lost loved ones, and we are devastated for our communities of color, who are sad, who are exhausted, who are suffering,” they continued.
The family shared that they are aware that “none of the sadness, exhaustion or suffering is new” and that the ongoing racism is “systemic.”
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“Our eyes, ears and hearts are open,” they expressed.
The Krafts went on to explain that they have a “long history of supporting vulnerable people in our community and advocating for equality,” however this isn’t enough moving forward and they must “act in the present.”
“There remains much work to be done. We will not rest on statements, because words without actions are void,” they wrote. “Rather, we will work harder than ever before — through philanthropy, community engagement, advocacy and supporting the work of our players — to build bridges, to promote equality, to stand up for what’s right and to value ALL people.
Other athletes have also expressed their feelings on police brutality and racial inequality in relation to Floyd’s death.
Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes called for the end of “senseless murders” around the country in a statement issued seven days after white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin — who has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter — kneeled on Floyd’s neck and killed him as he was being arrested.
“As I have watched everything that has happened over the last week and even before then, I have tried to put my feelings into words,” the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback wrote on both Instagram and Twitter. “As a kid who was born with a black dad and a white mom, I have been blessed to be accepted for who I am my entire life, but that isn’t the case for everyone.”
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“The senseless murders that we have witnessed are wrong and cannot continue in our country,” Mahomes said while sending prayers to the families of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
“I hope our country can learn from the injustices that we have witnessed to become more like the locker room where everyone is accepted,” he said. “We all need to treat each other like brothers and sisters, and become something better. Let’s be the world where my little sister, generations to come, and even my future kids will grow up never having to experience these tragedies and instead love each other unconditionally!”
“Love and Unite!,” Mahomes added as he ended his comments with the hashtag, “#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.”
In the days following 46-year-old Floyd’s death, the four Minneapolis police officers present during his arrest were fired for their involvement after footage of the incident went viral on social media. Though Chauvin, who pinned Floyd to the ground, was charged, the three other officers present have yet to be.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.