Players Coalition Petitions Congress to End Qualified Immunity

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The Players Coalition sent a letter to the United States Congress on Wednesday in support of the "Ending Qualified Immunity Act," which would eliminate qualified immunity for government officials and law enforcement.

The letter supporting a bill from Reps. Justin Amash (L-Michigan) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts) garnered over 1,400 signatures from active and retired athletes across the NFL, NBA and MLB. Quarterbacks Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Carson Wentz each signed the letter, as did Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and NBA coaches Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich.

"It is time for Congress to eliminate qualified immunity and it can do so by passing the Amash-Pressley Bill," the Players Coalition wrote. "When police officers kill an unarmed man, when they beat a woman, or when they shoot a child, the people of this country must have a way to hold them accountable in a court of law."

Wednesday's letter marks the Players Coalition's second call to action. They sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on May 8, calling for an investigation into the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed during a job in Georgia in February. 

"We have engaged in too many 'listening sessions' where we discuss whether there is a problem of police violence in this country. There is a problem," the Players Coalition wrote. "The time for debate about the unchecked authority of the police is over; it is now time for change."

The Players Coalition will hold a virtual meeting on Wednesday afternoon along with all 32 teams, per ESPN's Dianna Russini. The meeting will focus on "various initiatives aimed at promoting social justice and assisting black communities," per Russini.

Former Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin and current Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins founded the Players Coalition in 2017. The organization aims to "[make] an impact on social justice and racial equality at the federal, state and local levels through advocacy, awareness, education, and allocation of resources," per its website.