Patriots

Patriots

Tom Brady has an exceptionally large public platform, and Anquan Boldin is grateful for how he used it.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback was one of several professional athletes and coaches to sign a letter written by Boldin, the co-founder of the Players Coalition, to U.S. Attorney General William Barr calling for a federal investigation into the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

A video emerged recently appearing to show two white men -- Greg McMichael and his son, Travis McMichael -- chasing down Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, in their pickup truck and fatally shooting him while he was out for a jog in February.

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The two men were arrested and charged with murder on May 7, but two prosecutors already have recused themselves in the case, which is still ongoing and had been stagnant prior to the video becoming public.

Brady was one of a handful of white athletes and coaches to sign Boldin's petition, a gesture that the former NFL wide receiver called "very significant."

"I think it's very significant," Boldin said Monday on ESPN's "First Take." "Especially having Tom be a guy who hasn't been involved in politics at all. He's kinda stayed away from it. But it just goes to show that people are tired of this happening. We've seen it over and over again, and far too long, we've allowed it to go on and not speak out about it. So to have someone like Tom Brady sign the letter, it was very significant."

 

Brady mostly steered clear of politics and issues of social justice during his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots. Several of his former Patriots teammates are Players Coalition members, though -- most notably Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, Matthew Slater, Ben Watson, Duron Harmon and Chris Long -- so perhaps that factored into the QB showing his support.

Boldin's letter received strong support from the Patriots community, as a total of 25 current and former Patriots (Brady included) signed the letter urging the FBI and the Department of Justice to get involved in Arbery's case.