Moss used his Hall of Fame induction ceremony to honor 12 late African Americans killed by police brutality.

By Kaelen Jones
August 09, 2018

When Randy Moss was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last weekend, it wasn't just his gold jacket and nostalgia of the superstar's career that sent social media into a frenzy.

It was his tie.

Moss wore a black tie featuring the names of 12 African Americans inscripted in gold lettering. The individuals -- most of whom were killed by police -- were the following: Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Akiel Denkins, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Greg Gunn, Akai Gurley, Trayvon Martin, Paul O'Neal, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, and Alton Sterling.

In an interview with Jason Reid of ESPN's The Undefeated, Moss explained why he wore the tie, something he didn't address during his inductory speech.

"My intention was not to divide," Moss told Reid. "We're divided enough. My intention was to love. I just wanted to show those families that they're not alone and bring some eyes and some light to the fact that, man, there's still some families really hurting out here."

As Moss anticipated, not everyone received his silent gesture warmly. While many have applauded Moss for his attire, he estimates he's received between 150 and 200 messages decrying it. Regardless, he felt it necessary to speak out, and was comfortable doing so since he's no longer playing. He mentioned that athletes are concerned they'll receive "the same type of treatment that [former 49ers quarterback] Colin Kaepernick got." 

Kaepernick, whose first protest of social injustice and police brutality during the national anthem was staged two years ago, has been out of the NFL since the end of the 2016 season. Moss, currently an ESPN analyst, decided he would do what he could to utilize his platform to speak against the same issues Kaepernick intended to raise.

"I didn't do it for the publicity," Moss added. "I did it for what's right for families that need this support. They need it right now. And I'm not going to stop. We can't stop."

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