Chris Long was moved on Thursday night when his former teammate Carson Wentz posted a tweet calling out “institutional racism” in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
Long, who was Wentz’s teammate for two seasons, has been on the forefront of social and racial issues for years. But it was certainly noteworthy to see the Eagles’ franchise quarterback speak up.
On his podcast, The Green Light, Long was joined by Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and one topic the two discussed was the role of white coaches, athletes and influencers in subjects like racial inequality and injustice.
Even Long admitted he sometimes finds himself “tiptoeing” on these subjects but he said Wentz’s public statement gave him chills.
It think that’s something white players, white coaches, influencers, should hear. I just had this conversation with Carson Wentz. I shared with you that tweet. I was very moved by that. You heard Shannon Sharpe talk about that this week. He said, ‘Who’s gonna step up? We need Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers. It’s great that we’ve got X, Y, Zs of the world but we need the big-name quarterbacks’ and that sort of thing.
“So to see that happen and [Wentz] said ‘institutional racism.’ He typed those words out. That was really important to me. I got chills thinking about it. It’s so bare minimum, but that’s all we need. We just need guys to address it.
In addition to Wentz, Zach Ertz and Julie Ertz also tweeted a statement about Floyd on Thursday evening.
Here’s the clip of Sharpe that Long referenced:
There are a lot of great white men and women in America, but I’m talking to the athletic community. We need their voices on this one. We need them to say “This is enough.” Tom Brady, JJ Watt, and Aaron Rodgers, I need your voices. I need them to get on board like Chris Long. pic.twitter.com/JKctdTZ02w— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) May 27, 2020
Kerr was a particularly well-timed guest for Long’s podcast. The former NBA player and Warriors head coach has also been very outspoken on social issues, especially ones of racial injustice. The two discussed the importance of white people of influence raising their voices. Kerr spoke about finding a next step beyond public statements.
Kerr said he typically reaches out to his friends immersed in the battle for racial equality and Long said he texted Malcolm Jenkins at 10:07 p.m. on Thursday night to ask what he can do to help.
“I understand to a degree why some guys don’t (speak out),” Long said. “Because it’s a minefield.”
He seems very proud of Wentz for doing so.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.