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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is praying to see the end of "a lot of hate" in the United States as protests continue in the country.

Protests have broken out across the USA in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died in Minneapolis after a police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck during an arrest last week.

Seahawks star Wilson, who has played in the NFL since 2012 and is a Super Bowl winner, is hoping for change in the country.

"Ultimately, it's a lot of pain, there's a lot of history in America. There's a lot of hate in America, there's a lot of division. I pray that we can be better as people," he told reporters via a video call on Wednesday.

"Some of this police brutality is staggering, and honestly that's not something I understand fully. It's pretty emotional just to watch some of the videos. Even in Seattle, my home, watching the things happening there, it's pretty heavy.

"It's important that we understand that being black is a real thing in America, it's a real thing in the sense of the history and pain, even my own family personally – my great, great grandparents were slaves.

"There's a lot of history there, and what I'm praying for is that we learn how to love and to communicate and to overcome, to try to have perspective."

Wilson, 31, said he had a "heavy heart" as he considered the future of his family.

"The reality is that me as a black person, people are getting murdered on the street, people are getting shot down, and it's not like that for every other race," he said.

"I think about my stepson, I think about my daughter, I think about our new baby boy on the way. It's staggering to watch these things happen right in front of our faces. So I have a heavy heart right now."

Malcolm Jenkins said New Orleans Saints team-mate Drew Brees "should shut the f*** up" after controversial comments made amid protests in the United States.

Saints star Brees sparked backlash by saying he does not approve of people kneeling in front of the American flag during the USA national anthem in the midst of protests over George Floyd's death.

Floyd – an African-American man – died in Minneapolis after a police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck during an arrest last week.

Violent protests have broken out across the United States since Floyd's death, during which he was filmed crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem in 2016 to protest against police brutality and racial inequality, and Brees told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday that he believes the gesture is disrespectful to those in the military.

Jenkins – who has returned to the Saints after winning a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 – hit out at Brees in a since deleted social media video.

"Our communities are under siege and we need help," Jenkins said via Instagram. "And what you're telling us is don't ask for help that way, ask for it a different way. I can't listen to it when you ask that way. We're done asking, Drew. And people who share your sentiments, who express those, and push them throughout the world, the airwaves, are the problem.

"And it's unfortunate because I considered you a friend. I looked up to you. You're somebody who I had a great deal of respect for. But sometimes you should shut the f*** up."

Saints safety Jenkins uploaded another video, and the tearful 32-year-old said: "Drew Brees, if you don't understand how hurtful, how insensitive your comments are, you are part of the problem.

"To think that because your grandfathers served in this country, and you have a great respect for the flag that everybody else should have the same ideals as and thoughts that you do is ridiculous.

"It shows that you don't know history, because when our grandfathers fought for this country and served, and they came back ... they didn't come back to a hero's welcome. They came back and got attacked for wearing their uniforms. They came back to racism, to complete violence.

"Here we are in 2020 with the whole country on fire, everybody witnessing a black man dying, being murdered at the hands of the police, just in cold blood for everybody to see, the whole country’s on fire. And the first thing that you do is criticise one's peaceful protest?"

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James called out New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for his lack of understanding for the reasons players kneel in front of the flag during the United States national anthem.

Brees said on Wednesday he still does not approve of people kneeling and takes offence to the gesture, which he believes is disrespectful to those in the military.

James was then quick to point out that Colin Kaepernick began kneeling in 2016 to protest against police brutality and racial inequality, and his action had nothing to do with those who fight and serve.

"WOW MAN!!" James tweeted, with a facepalm emoji. "Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn't! You literally still don't understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolute nothing to do with the disrespect of [the flag] and our soldiers [men and women] who keep our land free.

"My father-in-law was one of those men who fought as well for this country. I asked him question about it and thank him all the time for his commitment. He never found Kap peaceful protest offensive because he and I both know what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong!"

James' tweet came in response to remarks Brees made earlier in the day in an interview with Yahoo Finance.

"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said when asked about players kneeling.

"Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. 

"I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that's what I think about."

The 41-year-old does see a connection between the sacrifices made by those in the military and those fighting for civil rights, but still feels the flag should be respected.

"In many cases, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed," he said. "Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the '60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point.

"And is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution."

Brees' comments come a day after Blackout Tuesday, a day established to observe, mourn and bring policy change in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the African-American who died on May 25 while in the custody of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  

Since Floyd's death, people have been protesting in several American cities, calling for an end of police brutality against minorities, and the NFL and the league's teams are addressing ways of supporting and fighting for justice.

Aaron Rodgers said it has "never been about an anthem or flag" as the Green Bay Packers star called for solidarity and change amid protests over George Floyd's death.

Floyd – an African-American man – died in Minneapolis after a police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck during an arrest last week.

Violent protests have broken out across the United States since Floyd's death, during which he was filmed crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

The situation has turned attention back to Colin Kaepernick and kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest against police brutality and racial inequality, which New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees still does not approve of – a statement that sparked backlash on Wednesday.

Packers counterpart and Super Bowl XLV champion Rodgers used social media to speak out on NFL players protesting.

 

"A few years ago we were criticised for locking arms in solidarity before the game," the two-time MVP wrote on Instagram, posting a picture of himself locking arms with team-mates before a game.

"It has NEVER been about an anthem or a flag. Not then. Not now. Listen with an open heart, let's educate ourselves, and then turn word and thought into action #wakeupamerica #itstimeforchange #loveoverfear #solidarity #libertyandjusticeforall #all."

Midweek, Saints star Brees angered his team-mate Michael Thomas and other athletes after taking offence to kneeling in front of the USA flag during the anthem.

"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said when asked about players kneeling in an interview with Yahoo Finance.

"Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States.

"I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that's what I think about."

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio has apologised after saying he does not believe racism and discrimination are prevalent in the NFL while discussing the issue amid protests over George Floyd's death. 

Floyd – an African-American man – died while in police custody in Minneapolis last week, sparking protests across the United States and far beyond.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Fangio said: "I think our problems in the NFL along those lines are minimal. 

"We're a league of meritocracy, you earn what you get, you get what you earn. I don't see racism at all in the NFL, I don't see discrimination in the NFL. 

"We all live together, joined as one, for one common goal, and we all intermingle and mix tremendously. If society reflected an NFL team, we'd all be great."

Fangio issued an apology on Wednesday.

“After reflecting on my comments yesterday and listening to the players this morning, I realise what I said regarding racism and discrimination in the NFL was wrong," the 61-year-old said. 

"While I have never personally experienced those terrible things first-hand during my 33 years in the NFL, I understand that many players, coaches and staff have different perspectives. 

"I should have been more clear and I am sorry. 

"I wanted to make the point yesterday that there is no colour within the locker rooms I have been in or on the playing fields I have coached on. Unfortunately, we don't live or work only within those confines. 

"Outside of those lines – both in the NFL and society – there is a lot of work to be done in the areas of diversity and providing opportunities across the board for minorities. 

"As the head coach, I look forward to listening to the players – both individually and collectively – to support them and work hand-in-hand to create meaningful change."

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will pledge $1million to improve police training and address systemic racism through education and advocacy in the United States following the death of George Floyd. 

Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis last week, prompting demonstrations and riots across the United States and beyond. 

Prescott commented on the situation with an Instagram post on Wednesday that started: "As a black multiracial American, I am disgusted and unsettled!"

Prescott backed those protesting but does not believe looting or violence is the answer. 

He said: "I have viewed these protests and riots in our streets as a form of strength and an attempt to show we as black people have rights that aren't being perceived equally as our counterparts."

Prescott also had something to say to the "men and women that police our streets".

"I have the utmost respect for those of you with a passion for protecting and serving your communities. When you chose to wear the badge of a police officer, you pledged to PROTECT life and property through the enforcement of our laws and regulations," he said.

"How can you claim to uphold the law when those within your own ranks don't abide by it? You need to hold your own accountable!"

Prescott said he is taking action with the donation and "will act alongside of all of you!"

He added: "We will clean our streets and our communities not only of the looting and violence, but most importantly the racism, racial-profiling, and hate!"

Drew Brees has angered his team-mate Michael Thomas by saying he still does not approve of people kneeling in front of the American flag during the United States national anthem. 

Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem in 2016 to protest against police brutality and racial inequality. 

New Orleans Saints quarterback Brees takes offence to the gesture, which he believes is disrespectful to those in the military. 

"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said when asked about players kneeling in an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday.

"Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States.

"I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that's what I think about."

The 41-year-old does see a connection between the sacrifices made by those in the military and those fighting for civil rights, but still feels the flag should be respected. 

“In many cases, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed," he said. "Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the '60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. 

"And is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution."

Brees' comments come a day after Blackout Tuesday, a day established to observe, mourn and bring policy change in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the African-American who died on May 25 while in the custody of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Since Floyd's death, people have been protesting in several American cities, calling for an end of police brutality against minorities, and the NFL and the league’s teams are addressing ways of supporting and fighting for justice.

Shortly after Brees' interview, Thomas took to Twitter to respond to his quarterback’s opinion. 

"He don't know no better." Thomas wrote in one tweet.  

He followed up a few minutes later with another message directed at Brees. 

Thomas added: "We don't care if you don't agree and whoever else how about that."

Brees then tried to clear the air with his team-mate and others criticising him.

"I love and respect my team-mates and I stand right there with them in regards to fighting for racial equality and justice," Brees said in a statement to ESPN. "I also stand with my grandfathers who risked their lives for this country and countless other military men and women who do it on a daily basis."

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner is unconcerned about returning to an NFL field, even though he may be more at risk of contracting coronavirus because of his cancer treatment.

Conner, who was drafted by the Steelers in 2017, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma five years ago and overcame the disease in May 2016 after six months of chemotherapy.

That illness and the following treatment would have weakened Conner's immune system, potentially putting him at more risk of suffering complications from COVID-19 should he get it.

The medical director of the NFL Players Association has suggested there could be extra precautions for those with pre-existing conditions, such as different helmets and masks, yet Conner has no fears about stepping back onto the field when the NFL regular season begins in September.

"I'm 100 per cent," Conner told reporters.

"I had a weak immune system four years ago. It's not weak anymore, thank God. I'm okay. I'm young and healthy. I went through what I went through.

"I'm not concerned, me personally. We're going to play it safe, of course. I'm not going to ignore it or anything like that. But as far as me being scared or anything like that or trying to take extra, extra precautions because of my health history, that was four years ago. My body's healed.

"I think when we follow our health protocol and guidelines, I'll be just fine.

"I don't want to downplay it and have people think I don't think it's an issue or anything like that.

"I just believe that we're just going to be doing what we're doing, and our bodies are meant to go through things and overcome it and get immune to things such as that. I hope everybody stays safe, but I'm not too concerned."

Having made the Pro Bowl in 2018 - his first year as a starter in Pittsburgh - Conner struggled during an injury-hit 2019 and rushed for only 464 yards in 10 games.

However, he cannot be accused of not putting in the work this offseason, with one photo he uploaded onto social media showing his bulging back muscles.

"Nah man, it's just the angle. I ain't been working out," he joked.

"Honestly, a lot of people commented on it saying, 'I'm gonna be stiff', and all this.

"No, I'm a professional and I know how to work out. It's partially genetics, but I've also been putting a lot of work into the weight room. And it's also just the way I flexed it.

"So it was nothing. There's a lot of people look like that."

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio does not believe racism and discrimination are prevalent in the NFL, calling George Floyd's death a "societal issue that we all have to join in to correct".

Floyd – an African-American man – died in Minneapolis after a police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck during an arrest last week.

Violent protests have broken out across the United States since Floyd's death, during which he was filmed crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Fangio – who was appointed Broncos coach in 2019 having previously worked for the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints – said: "I think our problems in the NFL along those lines are minimal.

"We're a league of meritocracy, you earn what you get, you get what you earn. I don't see racism at all in the NFL, I don't see discrimination in the NFL.

"We all live together, joined as one, for one common goal, and we all intermingle and mix tremendously. If society reflected an NFL team, we'd all be great."

The 61-year-old American added: "I was shocked, sad and angry when I saw what the policeman do to a handcuffed George Floyd on his stomach that led to his death.

"He should be punished to the full extent of the law of the crimes he was charged with in addition to being charged with treason for failing to uphold the badge and uniform he was entrusted with ... It's a societal issue that we all have to join in to correct.''

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer issued a statement on Tuesday regarding the death of George Floyd, the African-American who died on May 25 in the custody of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Zimmer released his statement on Blackout Tuesday, a day established to observe, mourn and bring policy change in the wake of Floyd's death.

Since Floyd's death, people have been protesting in several American cities, calling for an end of police brutality against minorities.

"I want to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd as well as the entire community for his senseless death," Zimmer said.

"Peaceful protests can help bring change, and we definitely need change so we can all live in harmony. Everyone needs to respect each other's ideas and work together to strengthen, not weaken, our community. I believe our football team is an example of how people from all different backgrounds and experiences can come together for a common goal."

The NFL addressed Floyd's death and responded to the protests with a statement on Saturday.

"There remains an urgent need for action," the league said. "We recognise 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."

The NFL's statement rang hollow with Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks, who took to Twitter on Tuesday to criticise the league.

"What actual steps are you taking to support the fight for justice and system reform?" he wrote.

"Your statement said nothing. Your league is built on black athletes. Vague answers do nothing."

Colin Kaepernick could have been one of the 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL, says Anthony Lynn, who bemoans that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback's message was lost in the controversy surrounding his 2016 protests.

As protests have spread across the United States in response to the death of George Floyd, an African American man who lost his life in the custody of Minneapolis police officers last week, Kaepernick and the stance he took against racial injustice and police brutality have come into focus once more.

Protesters throughout the USA have been seen taking a knee, which is what Kaepernick famously did throughout the 2016 NFL season during the playing of the national anthem.

He has not played a game since and last February settled a grievance with the NFL, having accused owners of colluding to keep him out of the league.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Lynn said: "People completely misunderstood Colin and what he was trying to do. 

"People talked about disrespecting the flag... the flag covers a lot — patriotism and civil rights and other things. And Colin was speaking out against the injustice and a lot of people didn't catch on to that because it was happening during the national anthem.

"They thought it was disrespectful to the flag. I was surprised by the number of people who didn't know why he was protesting.

"I got letters from people. I had people walk up to me and ask, "Coach, what are you going to do if someone on your team protests?" And I had to explain to them that Colin is taking a knee for criminal justice [reform] and police brutality and once you broke it down, they were like, "Oh, we didn't know that. We thought he was protesting the flag." And that was the case for a lot of people I came across.

"A lot of people for their own political reasons pushed out the wrong narrative. A lot of people didn't catch on as to why he took a knee. I understood and applauded him for it.

"I thought it was a shame that Colin's message got lost because people kept bringing up patriotism. It was brave for him to do that.

"I have a lot of respect for that young man standing up for something outside of the "Big 3" — God, family, football — and I have to say social justice right now is challenging my priorities. Right now I can't think of anything besides social justice.

"I know when you look at 32 quarterbacks in the National Football League, Colin could have been one of the 32. If not, he could have been a quality backup. For me being an African-American head coach, this is tough."

Addressing the unrest in the wake of the death of Floyd, Lynn expressed his belief that nothing has changed since 1992, when there were riots across Los Angeles in response to the acquittal of four police officers for the usage of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King.

"I've read some good statements. I read Brian Flores from the Dolphins and I agree 100 per cent with him. I read Doc Rivers' statement and those guys spoke from the heart," said Lynn. "I think statements are needed to bring awareness to the situation.

"But I want to do something too. I don't want to just put [a statement] out there because it's the right thing to do. I want change... so I guess it starts with having this conversation and talking things out. In 1992 I remember watching L.A. burn and here we are in 2020 and I'm watching it again and it just hit me, nothing has changed.

"I haven't done anything to make this a better place for my son. I remember having the talk with him when he was 16 about how to handle police and then at age 30 I called him up and just had the talk with him again because I'm so scared. I want to do something but to be honest with you, I don't know what that is."

Lynn spoke of his dismay after joining a protest in Huntington Beach and speaking to those leading the demonstrations, only to be informed there was no plan or endgame.

He added: "The Chargers have done more in the community than just about any organisation I've been with. I've been out in the community, talking with Mayor [Eric] Garcetti and I've been to the juvenile detention centers to encourage young men to do something positive with their life when they get out, and City Council people about making L.A. a better place.

"But this stuff that's taking place with police brutality and unarmed black men dying and white people feeling like they can use their privilege to threaten black people like that white woman did in Central Park, that's ridiculous. How do we affect that type of change? Where's the accountability for that kind of [expletive]? That's where I'm at right now. I'm angry, I'm [expletive] off and I don't want to just put out a pretty statement."

Former Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall recalled kneeling alongside Colin Kaepernick in 2016, insisting "this is what we were talking about then" amid protests over George Floyd's death.

Floyd – an African-American man – died in Minneapolis after a police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck during an arrest last week.

Violent protests have broken out across the United States since Floyd's death, during which he was filmed crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since the end of the 2016 season, during which the ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback attracted controversy by kneeling for the USA national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality.

He filed a grievance against the NFL in 2017, accusing owners of colluding to keep him out of a job. Kaepernick settled that grievance in February.

Marshall also kneeled before games during the 2016 season and the 30-year-old Super Bowl 50 champion told TMZ: "Back then, we were called rogues, people said that we didn't deserve jobs, but this is what we were talking about then.

"I think people are looking at [Kaepernick] now like, OK, maybe he knew. People didn't want to hear the message after 'oh they were kneeling' they didn't want that message, weren't ready for it, didn't listen.

"I hope, and I look at it, I hope people are ready for the message, I really hope they're ready for change.''

Marshall – who played for the Broncos between 2013 and 2018 – said he has spoken to Kaepernick following Floyd's death, adding: "We talked some about what's happened - and this is why he started the Know Your Rights foundation - and I asked him if he needed me to do anything, or what I could do to help.

"He said right now, at the moment, he's concentrating on legal assistance for the protesters, but we'll talk more moving forward.''

Injuries are common in the NFL, but there is nothing conventional about how Las Vegas Raiders rookie Henry Ruggs III hurt himself.

Ruggs – the 12th pick in this year's NFL Draft – injured his thigh while helping a friend move. 

The injury is not considered serious and the Raiders are not commenting out of respect to the 21-year-old wide receiver's medical privacy. 

Ruggs' father, Henry Ruggs Jr., said his son is fine but is using crutches to avoid putting weight on the injured leg. 

"He was trying to move a trailer or something - move furniture or something - and the trailer just kind of pinned him against a car or a wall or something," Ruggs Jr. told AL.com.

"He's pretty much OK … It was just like a little open wound on his leg, a little incision. Like something had stuck him right there on his thigh a little bit." 

The first receiver selected in April's NFL Draft, Ruggs finished his three-year career at Alabama with 98 receptions for 1,716 yards. His 24 touchdown receptions are third most in program history.

 

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson made their first public statements since the death of George Floyd sparked protests against racially driven police brutality in the United States.

Floyd died in police custody last Monday in Minneapolis when an officer kneeled on his neck while he lay handcuffed on the ground, leading to widespread demonstrations and riots in multiple American cities.

Wilson said he fears for the lives of his children in the current climate, recalling stories he heard of the tension and violence of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, saying, "The past has never left us."

"As a stepdad to one of the most amazing kids I've ever known, a young boy with so much passion, talent, intelligence, and love for others; as a father to one of the most bright, brilliant and vibrant young girls in the world and a new baby boy on the way . . . I fear," Wilson wrote on Twitter.

"I fear for their lives just like my grandmother feared for my dad's life and the lives of her other children. I fear because of the colour of their beautiful chocolate skin.

"The video of George Floyd broke my heart. Seeing someone's life taken so cruelly makes us want to rage and lash out. 

"But then I ask myself, what would George Floyd want? He told us. He just wanted his mother. He wanted his life. He simply wanted to breathe."

Mahomes said he has been "blessed to be accepted" as a mixed-race man and hopes sports can provide a blueprint for greater racial harmony in the future.  

"The senseless murders that we have witnessed are wrong and cannot continue in our country," Mahomes said. "All I can think about is how I grew up in a locker room where people from every race, every background, and every community came together and became brothers to accomplish a single goal. 

"I hope that our country can learn from the injustices that we have witnessed to become more like the locker room where everyone is accepted. We all need to treat each other like brothers and sisters, and become something better."

Mahomes, the 2018 NFL MVP, led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory in February, while Wilson is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection who helped the Seahawks win the Super Bowl following the 2013 season.  

Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich met with the media on Monday and read a statement in support of the black community while addressing racial injustices experienced by African Americans. 

"Few things stir the human heart and soul like injustice," Reich said to reporters. "When we see it, feel it, experience it, it's heart-wrenching. It's not enough for a person who looks like me to say, 'I'm not racist.'

"This kind of talk and thinking, it typically lends itself to a posture of neutrality, indifference, and passivity. It's easy to be silent and do nothing, when it doesn't directly impact you. This attitude simply doesn't evoke any conviction about doing what is right, and standing up for the inherent dignity and rights of all people, no matter the colour of their skin."

Reich's comments follow a weekend of protests and riots in several American cities in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Floyd was an African American who died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the back of Floyd's neck while he lay handcuffed on the ground. Protesters are calling for an end of police brutality against minorities. 

"Racism is vile, deplorable, detestable," Reich said. "There's no form of it that is acceptable, and in no way can it be justified. Our black community has bore the brunt of this injustice far too long. 

"I believe that I — we — all have a personal responsibility to speak up, and to act in ways that build each other up, not tear each other down.

"I believe each one of us can make a difference if we're willing to grow personally and display the courage necessary for us to take steps of progress in this most important of issues."

The Colts released a statement regarding Floyd's death, and Reich said he supported it but also wanted to offer his personal views.   

Reich also said some Colts players have participated in peaceful protests but was not concerned about their well-being. 

"Sometimes, you have to take risks," he said.

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