Larry Fitzgerald on George Floyd Protests: ‘We Are Not Listening to One Another’

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald offered his perspective on the ongoing protests in an essay for the New York Times on Sunday.

The Minneapolis native quoted Martin Luther King Jr., who said, “Our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay.”

Fitzgerald put those words into context for today as demonstrations continue nationwide following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed while in police custody in Minneapolis.

“We are not listening to one another,” Fitzgerald wrote. “Our winter of delay continues to result in cold hearts and lifeless bodies. The language of the unheard has broken the silence, and our willful deafness has led to death and destruction. While our nation has struggled under the weight of a biological pandemic, we also find our communities ravaged by the insidious disease of injustice.

“People of color across this nation are screaming to be heard.”

The 16-year NFL veteran also gave his thoughts on the events that have become violent.

“The screams of disrespected voices are ringing out in our nation right now,” he continued. “We must never condone violent riots that take lives and destroy futures, but we must also hear the desperate voice of protest that is calling out for justice.”

Players across the NFL have used their platforms over the past two weeks to discuss their experiences with racism and police brutality. Fellow Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins was part of a group of players who sent a united message to the NFL condemning the systemic oppression of black people.

Fitzgerald, an 11-time Pro Bowler who ranks second in NFL history in receptions, added: “We must act. Good people may find themselves a part of a broken system but must take it upon themselves to bring about the needed change. If you are silent and passive, you are complicit in upholding the status quo.”

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