TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama football senior offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood addressed the media for the first time since last season on Wednesday afternoon, speaking about his team as well as his involvement in the creation of a tweet sent out by the Crimson Tide's Twitter account supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Leatherwood was the primary author of the tweet sent out by Alabama football back in late June addressing racial injustice and supporting the current movement against police brutality:
During his time with the media, Leatherwood took time to address his inspiration behind penning the script for the video.
"What inspired me to do that?," Leatherwood said. "Just seeing all the things that were going on and taking place it was very disheartening. You know what I mean? And I felt like us being who we are and us having this platform I felt like it was a great opportunity to show that — to be a voice for my people from a standpoint and platform where a lot of people would listen.
"I feel like we still feel the exact same way about that video today."
The Black Lives Matter movement has experienced a surge of support this year following the death of a Black man in Minneapolis named George Floyd, who died at the hands of police while being taken into custody.
On Sunday evening, another Black man by the name of Jacob Blake was shot in the back by police in Kenosha, Wis., stirring up more support for the movement against police brutality and putting the conversation back on the forefront.
These two instances, along with others this year and in many years past have culminated into the current movement.
Regarding whether his opinions on the matter have changed at all since the creation of Alabama football's video, Leatherwood remains firm on the issue.
"My opinions have not changed at all," Leatherwood said. "The creative process to be honest was almost like — I don't know, it just like came to me out of nowhere. I am by no means a writer or anything like that because I'm very math-minded. Left-brained, you know what I mean? But I felt like that was just something that came to me and I felt like because I'm not really an outspoken person but I felt like those thoughts and those feelings that I had to for the situation needed to be heard so I used my platform to do so."
The video on Twitter has now received over 16,000 retweets and over 32,000 likes and helped the Alabama football players — both Black and white — let their voices be heard.
Regarding if the team actively discusses the current racial issues, Leatherwood revealed that they are not necessarily angry in their discussions but are simply tired of injustice.
"Of course it's been discussed around the team and stuff like that," Leatherwood said. "But I mean, just like I said earlier, we feel the same way as we did a few months ago when we put out that video. Of course, we're not really angered but like we just don't feel good about that kind of stuff. We don't like to see it. It shouldn't be normal to be seeing that kind of stuff every few weeks, every month or so. It's not good. We don't like it."