Four former Buckeyes were among a group of more than a dozen NFL players who put together a powerful video message posted on social media Thursday that was directed squarely at commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL headquarters. The message, also targeting society as a whole, preaches for a change in attitude and an end of police brutality and racism.
Saints receiver and former Buckeye Michael Thomas begins the video by saying "It's been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered." After that, Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu directs a question to the NFL, "How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players?" The video, which lasts just over a minute, continues from there with NFL stars alternating lines.
The other former Buckeyes who are featured are New Orleans defensive back Marshon Lattimore, Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott and Washington defensive end Chase Young. Among the other most recognizable players that are involved in the project include Browns receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, Kansas City Super Bowl winning QB Patrick Mahomes, Houston QB Deshaun Watson and Giants running back Saquan Barkley. The video includes this clear message to the NFL.
"We will not be silenced. We assert our right to peacefully protest....So on behalf of the National Football League, this is what we, the players, would like to hear you state: We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systemic oppression of black people." The video was posted on social media a day after the uproar caused by comments made by Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who was asked in a Yahoo interview if he would understand if players chose to take a knee during the National Anthem to protest social injustice. "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America." Brees has since apologized, saying his comments "missed the mark." You can check out the players video message below.