WATCH: Justin Simmons Makes Impassioned Plea for No Violence in Florida Protest

Chad Jensen

The Denver Broncos are poised to make a massive investment in fifth-year safety Justin Simmons and it's not only due to his impact on the field. On the grid-iron, he's one of the best young safeties in the NFL, coming off an All-Pro season. 

Off the field, Simmons has been a stalwart in charity and community out-reach, having worked directly with dozens of organizations, including but not limited to: Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Rescue Mission, Food Bank of the Rockies, Global Down Syndrome Association, Habitat for Humanity, Make-A-Wish Colorado, Mile High United Way, National Sports Center for the Disabled, Playworks Colorado, Special Olympics Colorado, UCHealth and USA Football.

Simmons' passion for helping underprivileged communities and making a positive impact stretches beyond Denver and the Front Range. He is doing what he can to support the protests that have sprung up across the nation in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police while also sharing a strong message: no violence. 

As a native of Port Salerno, Florida, Simmons was on hand in the city of Stuart on Sunday, which is five miles outside his hometown, to join in the local protest march in solidarity with the community from which he hails. His impassioned message of peace amid societal protest was one that we can only hope will take root across the country as American cities burn.

"Florida will be the difference today," Simmons told the crowd on hand in Stuart. "You will not have any violence. Martin County, Florida will be the difference. I hope everyone understands that. We have come way too far, okay? We are close. We need to stick together. We need to be unity. This is why this is important. Like I said before, this means more to us than anything you can post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—we need to be united. We need to be united. This is important. So why we're out here, don't forget—it was said earlier—I'm sad we're here but we need to make sure that we understand that we are fighting for equality and not superiority. Make sure we understand that. All lives can't matter until black lives matter. All lives can't matter until black lives matter. We pledge our allegiance to the flag for freedom and justice for all and we do not have our justice, so let's understand that. But we will get it—not by force, okay? Not by force. I hope you guys understand that." 

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A football blog is not a place for waxing poetic about politics and civil rights. At the end of the day, my job is to analyze sports. 

But as Simmons said, regardless of one's skin color or race, this is a time where one would hope Americans can come together in unity and listen to the voices who are crying out. 

Does that justify violence or the destruction of private property? Americans will have to answer that question on a person-by-person basis.  

But the more intently Americans can try to listen to those who are speaking out against the egregious injustice of George Floyd's death, and others like it, the less violence we're likely to see across the nation at this tumultuous time. I would also suggest listening to the voices of those small business owners whose establishments have been destroyed by rioters and looters.

Simmons' message is an apt one. Two wrongs don't make a right. 

Would that we could all take heed. Police brutality has no place in a civilized country. The more we listen, the more likely the protests are to be peaceful instead of violent and destructive. 

Thank goodness for good men like Simmons. That's where I'll leave it. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

Comments (5)
No. 1-5
Lance Sanderson
Lance Sanderson

Saw this on Twitter yesterday and I couldn't agree more. The violence by all needs to stop. It's alright to be angry at the injustice and it's alright to speak out and protest in a safe, meaningful manner. But the line gets crossed when innocent people start getting hurt. When innocent people have their property damaged and when innocent people become more and more victimized.

broncomarco
broncomarco

You had me and I was ready to share this on Facebook because I agreed completely with Justin Simons. Then you said, "Does that justify violence or the destruction of private property? Americans will have to answer that question on a person-by-person basis. " What?! That wasn't Simon's message. In fact, it contradicts it.

It is wrong to justify violence and the destruction of other people's property, period. As to your quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., the quote you cite is out of context. He called for civil disobedience and peaceful protest, not violence. It is a disservice to his legacy to miss that point by posting an out of context quote.

It is possible to hold two thoughts at once and condemn police brutality and racism, and violence and the destruction of property at the same time. The murder of George Floyd was the greater evil, but what is going on in America's cities right now is evil too and the lawless element committing these crimes should be condemned. To do so, as Simon's understands, will not help the cause of equal justice, it will hurt it and perpetuate the injustice.

toddx7
toddx7

The violence obviously needs to stop but the protesters do have a right to express their discontent about the murder of George Floyd.

Simmons needs to get his contract done and might consider raising the signing bonus to lower the cap hit. Hopefully, Simmons has a big season for the Broncos.

BobMorris
BobMorris

Justin Simmons is not just a great football player, he's a great man.

He was the Broncos' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year this past season. As Chad wrote, Simmons is active in communities and charities. He wants to help people and improve their lives.

And, yes, it is possible to believe that police brutality and the militarization of the police are problems, while also believing that those who only seek to commit vandalism and violent behavior in response are problems.

Simmons is right -- we need to be unified. Because that's how we will truly help the people who need it the most.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

Yesterday's (6/2) Wall Street Journal reported that one in every seven demonstrators arrested in NYC were from out of state (many different states were involved) some as far away as the western USA. These are paid agitators sent to stir up trouble. You don't travel across the country just to be at another city to demonstrate when there are plenty of local cities where you can demonstrate. A significant portion of the demonstrators are not local folks who spontaneously just came out to protest. No doubt this is true in cities elsewhere. Some big bucks are being spent to stir up trouble deliberately. There were also several reports from various sources that Joe Biden's campaign was spending money to provide bail for some of those who were arrested. What does that have to do with campaigning for the presidency??


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