The Baltimore Ravens added a powerful 10-minute video to the national discussion about race Friday. It begins with owner Steve Bisciotti voicing his disgust at the video of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot by a father and son while running in a Georgia neighborhood.
He then asked fans to see and hear what Ravens players are going through.
“Are you willing to listen?” he asked. “I don’t think I’ve grown by seeing their anger. I think I’ve grown by feeling their hurt. And these young men are hurting.”
The video then transitions into players and executives speaking about the history of racism in the country. Most movingly, it moves into the players speaking of their fears for their children and the world they’d like to see for them.
The video includes Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III, Anthony Levine Sr., Calais Campbell, Willie Snead IV, Justin Tucker, Matthew Judon, Mark Ingram II and John Harbaugh.
“To say ‘stick to sports’ is the worst possible thing that you can feel and say,” said Bisciotti, who donated $1 million toward social justice reform in Baltimore last week. “If my players, both white and black, don’t speak out about this injustice to their communities, then they’re considered sellouts or hypocrites. If I don’t defend my players then I’m the worst kind of hypocrite.”
General manager Ozzie Newsome spoke of growing up in Alabama and seeing segregation, integration and continued racism.
“Black lives matter in all places, not just gyms, stadiums and ballparks,” he said.
Snead and Griffin introduced their children and their hope that when they grow up they’re not judged by the color of their skin, but their personality and contributions.
“I want to be able to come home to [my wife] just like you’re able to come home to yours,” Griffin said. “These are my children. I want to see them grow up, just like you want to see yours.”
White players voiced their support, the need to listen and understanding that things afforded to them aren’t always to their black counterparts.
The video ends with Bisciotti urging others to say it out loud: Black lives matter.
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