Arik Armstead doesn't want to hear it.
The 49ers defensive lineman spoke to Sactown Magazine for its July/August issue, and says that if you're not willing to listen to his dialogue off the field about social issues affecting our country, he doesn't want you tuning in to watch him and his teammates dominate on the field.
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“If you don’t want me speaking out against racism and social issues and social injustices, then don’t watch me play on Sundays. Can’t have a piece of me and not all of me.” In our new July/Aug issue, San Francisco 49er Arik Armstead talks about race, the NFL and moving back home to Sacramento. Also in the issue: a conversation with Urban Roots owner Rob Archie, a photo essay and stories about life during quarantine, a profile on the plant-based butcher shop Love Child, and more. On newsstands at Corti Bros., the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, Nugget Markets, Raley’s, Bel Air, Safeway and elsewhere. 📸: @mahanti.photo
“If you don’t want me speaking out against racism and social issues and social injustices, then don’t watch me play on Sundays," Armstead said. "Can’t have a piece of me and not all of me.”
Armstead also joined NBC Sports Bay Area's "Race In America" series a few weeks ago, and spoke about the pain he felt seeing video of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police Custody.
"Like, why do I have to continue -- why do we have to continue to see people that look like us get murdered on social media and on the TV?" Armstead told Logan Murdock and Monte Poole on "Race In America: A Candid Conversation." " ... I'm on Instagram, and I just got to see another Black person get killed unjustly."
[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]
The 26-year-old also discussed a time when he was racially profiled by local police near a friend's house in Elk Grove.
“A cop gets behind us, pulls us over,” Armstead recalls. “‘What y’all doing? Where y’all going?’”
The officer then made Armstead and his friends prove that they knew the people whose house they were traveling to, by bringing the cop with them to the front door and having the friend explain that he was acquainted with Armstead.
Armstead has made it clear he won't be staying silent or "sticking to sports." For those who don't want to hear Armstead's voice on these issues, don't expect him to care whether you watch him play on Sundays.