Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins spent this past Saturday among thousands of protestors in Washington, D.C., fighting for racial equality and justice.
The second-year quarterback spoke to the local media on Wednesday and explained what went into his decision to head to the nation's capital this past weekend and protest.
"My whole decision to go to D.C. was more so, I feel like everybody in this day and age just talks, and I wanted to be about action," Haskins said. "I wanted to be down there and be a part of the difference."
Throughout his entire 15-minute Zoom call with reporters, Haskins repeatedly explained that he wanted to show support with his actions, rather than his words.
"People were asking me to say something, address it, make a statement, things of that nature. I was just trying to think of a way where it was more close to the heart, it was more genuine," Haskins said. "Instead of just me making a tweet or doing a video, I wanted to go to the actual protests and be involved, talk to the people that were there, be in that atmosphere, understand the hearts that are crying out for help.
"It's easy for me to tweet about how bad it is and the injustice and everything of that nature," Haskins said later in the session. "I wanted to go see the people protest. I listened to people talk. I listened to people on the blowhorn talk about their life experiences. Just try to get to know the next man and be a better person. That's something I always want to work on."
Fighting against racial inequality and police injustice is something the quarterback explained he can directly relate to. Haskins expressed to reporters that he himself is afraid every time he gets pulled over by the police regardless of the situation.
"I get pulled over sometimes and I get scared, because I get questioned and I get asked crazy things when I get pulled over," Haskins said. "I get pulled over and they ask if I'm selling drugs, if there's something in the car they need to worry about. Playing quarterback for a football team in the NFL, you think you wouldn't get asked those type of questions, but it's just the world we live in."
This has been an issue for quite some time. Haskins said he was taught from an early age to listen to everything the police say and to never argue with them simply because he feared for his own safety.
"If anything it's evident every day with the body cameras and the killings of people," Haskins said. "You never know when it's going to be your last breath."
In the aftermath of Floyd's death, Redskins head coach Ron Rivera brought the entire organization together for a Zoom call, giving his players a forum to express their thoughts and concerns regarding the situation.
Rivera showed full support for all his players, something Haskins was appreciative of. Rivera has already said he will support all of his players if they choose to kneel for the national anthem before games in the fall. Haskins explained he's undecided as to whether he will kneel while running back Adrian Peterson has already said he plans to do so.
Haskins said that he's spoken with Rivera and other leaders of the team as a way to continue to educate himself about this situation and become a better person as a whole.
"Just having conversations with the leaders on the team, talking to Coach Rivera and a couple of close family friends," Haskins said. "I try to stay off the whole social media, because it's a lot of different, unfiltered and filtered things that aren't always true."
Additionally, Haskins said he's had conversations with members of the Redskins organization who aren't of color. Haskins expressed that they've been extremely supportive and willing to listen.
"I have white coaches. I have quarterbacks in the room who aren't my skin color. I'm friends with all those people," Haskins said. "It's not necessarily that they're a different color. They understand that. But there are some people who don't understand the injustice. The teammates on my football team, they all understand it and preaching to the community about what we need to do as far as overcoming this whole tragedy. They've been very open to any conversations we try to have. They're willing to help, which is all you can ask for."
As the quarterback closed his media session, he made one last distinct point: just because the protests will end soon, the end of the movement is nowhere close to done.
"I feel like many things in life, we talk about it for a minute and then let it go a couple of minutes later," Haskins said. "Personally, for me, it's been Black Lives Matter my whole life. Black Lives Matter my whole parent's life, their parent's life. We just can't, because there's a protest right now and it stops in two weeks, stop talking about it, stop working to put together a plan of action to bring unity to this country. That's all I want ... It shouldn't have to be somebody being killed to stop racism."
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