Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz and Jason Kelce are among the group of Eagles who have released statements in the wake of George Floyd’s killing and subsequent protests around the country, using their platform to speak out against institutional racism and racial injustice.
Speaking to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark on Tuesday, DeSean Jackson made it clear that he’s proud of his high-profile white teammates.
They stepped up. They made their voice be heard,” Jackson said. “They used their platform, they used their resources, they used everything they could do to reach out and say I might not know what it feels like to be racially profiled, I might not know what it’s like to grow up in the inner communities and these areas that you guys face on a daily basis, where we’re scrutinized for the color of our skin.
“They might not understand that, but they are stepping up to the plate and saying fair is fair and right is right and wrong is wrong. The stuff that we’ve been seeing is wrong. They don’t support that.
On Monday, during the Eagles’ virtual team meeting, Jackson gave such an impassioned speech about his own life and tribulations as a black man in the United States, that it motivated Kelce to speak up.
Kelce, one of the longest tenured players on the team, said he felt an obligation to post to social media after hearing Jackson’s message.
“If I motivate him to step up and use his platform man, I appreciate that,” Jackson said. “At the end of the day, when I spoke, I spoke off of how I feel. I can’t change how my heart feels.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie released a statement of his own, saying he’s “repulsed” by racial injustice and vowing to use his platform to effect change.
Lurie spoke to the entire team on Monday. His words and his statement meant a lot to Jackson.
“You gotta think, the owners are billionaires. They have so much influence in the world,” Jackson said. “They have so much equity. They have so much power to where if they make a stance, the it’s gonna trickle down to the lower totem pole. I feel like a lot of times they go silent because it’s politics or they might lose this sponsor or they might look crazy in the light. But it’s like, none of that stuff can even come into your mind because we are dealing with people losing their lives. …
“I feel like Jeffrey Lurie did a great job of speaking out and speaking up. Because I feel like if he does it, then you’re gonna have the rest of the other 31 owners and that’s going to trickle out to basketball owners, baseball owners. It has to be a trigger effect.”
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