Philip Rivers Describes Colts’ Team Meeting About Racism, Protests

FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 file photo, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) warms up before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo. In March 2020, the Colts re-calibrated by signing 38-year-old free agent Philip Rivers, delegating Brissett the backup and releasing Hoyer. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers spoke with reporters Wednesday about team meetings he took part in amid worldwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality following the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police custody.

Stephen Holder of The Athletic provided the quotes:

Stephen Holder @HolderStephen

A notable excerpt from QB Philip Rivers on last week’s emotional #Colts team meetings: https://t.co/Qk1BmMDmB7

Rivers is in his first year with the Colts after he spent his first 16 NFL seasons with the San Diego and Los Angeles Chargers.

Numerous members of the Colts organization have spoken out in recent days, including general manager Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich:

Indianapolis Colts @Colts

Chris Ballard shares his thoughts on social justice and racial inequality: https://t.co/UvsLBjrsaT

Indianapolis Colts @Colts

“I will never forget last week.”

FULL INTERVIEW: https://t.co/fXRWKZjfiv https://t.co/SUEBBwndnD

Many players have spoken out as well, including linebackers Darius Leonard and Anthony Walker, among others: 

Darius Leonard @dsleon45

Are you willing to be on the front line to fight for what’s right? I will always use my platform to educate people on doing the right things! We’re tried of getting treated differently!! Listen to our stories and feel our pain that’s the only way you could ever relate! #BLM https://t.co/9ZdpKT1hDG

Anthony Walker Jr. @__AWalkJr

Be A Part Of Change ✊🏾 https://t.co/aNBovQnr1K

The team also released the following statement:

Indianapolis Colts @Colts

https://t.co/rMPVSoXTMu

Internally, the team has held numerous meetings, as Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star reported last Wednesday:

This week, Reich put football on the back-burner and used his time—two-hour Zoom sessions with the team Tuesday and Wednesday—to create a forum, a safe space for players and coaches of all races to express themselves about not just the events of the past week but the pains they have felt and witnessed their entire lives. 

What followed was an outpouring of raw emotion. Stories about fear and compassion paired with pleas for unity and equality.”

The next step appears to be taking action of some sort. Linebacker Bobby Okereke told Ayello that ideas were presented at the meetings, but nothing was set in stone at that time.

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