CINCINNATI — Much like the rest of the country, A.J. Green and the Bengals discussed racial injustice in America on Thursday morning
The team decided to practice, but the tough conversations are just beginning.
"I don't have a problem with it [practicing]," Green said. "At the same time, I think we as a team need to get together and have a bigger discussion (about) what's going on in this world, how we can make a change and I think it starts from the top."
All 80 players on the roster plan to meet on Friday morning to discuss social injustice.
"Having the uncomfortable conversation with the owners, the general managers and making everyone feel comfortable," Green said. "A lot of players are scared to talk because a lot of people aren't financially stable to where they can make comments on how they feel about things and not feel like they will get cut or something like that. I think it starts from the top and that will create an environment where these guys are comfortable voicing their opinion and not feel like, 'This could cost me my job because I have a family to feed.'"
Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow is one player that has been outspoken about racial and social injustice.
"How can you hear the pain Black people are going through and dismiss it as nothing," Burrow tweeted on Thursday morning. "How can you hear the pain and respond with anything other than 'I stand with you.'”
Green and the rest of the locker room have praised Burrow for his play on the field, but the seven-time Pro Bowler is happy that the rookie is comfortable speaking out about social issues.
"That's what you want to see. You want to see that quarterback position step up because those are the guys that drive our league," Green said. "It speaks volumes, especially to the guys in the locker room. You want to rally around guys like that who are speaking up. And being not an African-American male, being a White male — he's speaking up for what we're trying to create. When you have a guy like that, you just want to rally behind him."
Green praised the NBA for postponing playoff games. He knows change needs to happen and he hopes it starts with this generation.
"I have two brown boys I have to raise and I have to teach them the inequalities that being a black man comes with," Green said. "That's a tough conversation to have with a young kid who doesn't see anything, who's always sheltered, who can get anything he wants, who's going to go to the best schools but at the same time he's a black boy and his dad is black. For me, it's going to start with me talking to my kids. It's going to be an uncomfortable conversation we are going to have to have as men."
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