Robert Griffin III to NFL Owners: Show Black Lives Matter Means Something to You

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III warms up before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III wants NFL owners to speak out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and address systemic racism. 

Appearing on ESPN Radio’s Gameday on Saturday, Griffin said team owners need to “say black lives matter and then show that that means something to you.”

Griffin did note he “doesn’t have any expectation” that owners will take this approach because they have to “make that decision for themselves.”

ESPN Radio @ESPNRadio

.@RGIII joined @Sedano & @arielhelwani on ‘GameDay,’ & talked about the role that #NFL owners can play in addressing social injustice & systematic racism.

Full Interview: https://t.co/QuFQO2dYCB https://t.co/OLlPXvP2Me

Griffin’s comments came after San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle that the protests against and discussion about racial injustice and police brutality is “not pulling them (owners) like it is the rest of the country.”

Sherman mentioned Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones because of the power he wields: “Jerry Jones, especially, has no problem speaking up any other time about anything else. But when it’s such a serious issue, and he could really make a huge impact on it with a few words, his silence speaks volumes.” 

The NFL has taken steps recently to offer support for its black players and the ongoing peaceful protests demanding action for social justice reform in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25. 

Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a video statement saying the league, “condemn[s] racism and the systematic oppression of black people” and admitted wrongdoing in not listening to player protests earlier:

NFL @NFL

We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange https://t.co/ENWQP8A0sv

The league announced Thursday a $250 million donation paid out over 10 years to “support the battle against the ongoing and historic injustices faced by African-Americans.”

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