DeAndre Hopkins, Patrick Peterson Issue Powerful Statements
In a video posted to New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley's social media account Thursday evening, several NFL players took part in issuing a message regarding the alleged murder of George Floyd, an African-American male who died after having his neck knelt on by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, for a nearly nine-minute period while handcuffed on the ground.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and cornerback Patrick Peterson were primary voices in the video, issuing powerful statements in the 1:11 long piece. They are the only members from the franchise represented.
The full message, with phrases split between the athletes represented, is as follows:
"It's been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered. How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players? What will it take? For one of us to be murdered by police brutality? What if I was George Floyd? If I was George Floyd? What if I was George Floyd? If I was George Floyd? If I was George Floyd? If I was George Floyd? I am George Floyd. I am Breonna Taylor. I am Ahmaud Arbery. I am Eric Garner. I am Laquan McDonald. I am Tamir Rice. I am Trayvon Martin. I am Walter Scott. I am Michael Brown Jr. I am Samuel Dubose. I am Frank Smart. I am Phillip White. I am Jordan Baker. We will not be silenced. We assert our right to peacefully protest. It shouldn't take this long to admit. So, on behalf of the National Football League, this is what we, the players, would like to hear you state: 'We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players for peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.' Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter."
Hopkins has been active online since the passing of Floyd, frequently quote tweeting various clips from protests with "..." captions. On May 28, Hopkins posted a picture of himself wearing a black t-shirt with the phrase "#IMWITHKAP" that seemingly aligned himself with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. When Bleacher Report GridIron posted that he was standing with Kaepernick that day, Hopkins tweeted back "everyday."
"What will it take?" Hopkins said in his first statement of the video, while donning his red Cardinals cap.
That was then followed by, "I am George Floyd."
Peterson posed the question, "What if I were George Floyd?" He followed that up with "I am Walter Scott," who was an unarmed African-American male shot and killed by a white police officer following a daytime traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina.
This comes on the day Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake announced the team was giving players the day off to honor Floyd's memorial.
The NFL responded with a statement on its Instagram account that was as follows:
“This is a time of self-reflection for all – the NFL is no exception. We stand with the black community because Black Lives Matter. Through Inspire Change, the NFL, Players and our partners have supported programs and initiatives throughout the country to address systemic racism. We will continue using our platform to challenge the injustice around us. To date we have donated $44 million to support hundreds of worthy organizations. This year, we are committing an additional $20 million to these causes and we will accelerate efforts to highlight their critical work. We know that we can and need to do more.”
This story has been updated to include Patrick Peterson's comments.