Cardinals Speak Out Amid Death and Destruction

Howard Balzer

Our nation has been roiled in pain and tragedy for three months amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has elicited a barrage of peaceful protests mixed with violence and destructive acts.

The sports world has reacted in kind, perhaps like never before, which hopefully in the long run could be a good thing. However, it will take more than mere words. It will take people working together, which is the essence of sport.

Several Cardinals have provided their thoughts including the measured but passionate words of cornerback Patrick Peterson. He tweeted, “This was not easy for me. I had to take some time to make sure my anger from the tragic #George Floyd situation was under control before speaking out. I have a responsibility to share my thoughts as an influential black man in America. This is how I feel. WE NEED & DEMAND CHANGE!!

He attached to his tweet the following call to action:

“I have spent a lot of time thinking through how to responsibly describe my anger and disappointment resulting from the MURDER of George Floyd and the chaos that has followed. It is clear as day that minorities’ lives, especially those of my black brothers and sisters, continue to be of lesser value in America. This broken record of systemic racism is disturbing and our leadership is failing our communities. How many times do we have to see those who supposedly swore to ‘protect and serve’ our communities murder us until our public leaders step in and demand change? How many times will our leaders stand by and watch as our anger spills over into the streets to cause unnecessary havoc in our communities? Not for publicity, not for politics, not for personal interest. BUT FOR THE LIVES OF AMERICANS!???!! How can you expect us to come to any other conclusions that we are NOT VALUED EQUALLY because of the color of our skin?? WE DEMAND CHANGE! ALSO, for those choosing to express their justified anger in ways that only make the situation worse, shame on you! Dr. King showed us how powerful a peaceful unified front can be! We should take this opportunity to start conversations and actions for change. IT IS NOT the time to provide more ammunition for those who see us as ‘thugs’ by these acts of vandalism and theft. Burning down our own communities will only delay the progress and CHANGE that we desperately need! WE ARE ALL ANGRY AND HURT! But this is not the way! I don’t proclaim to have the perfect solution, but I can personally choose to use my platform to spread love and not hate. Enough lives have been lost!”

Running back Kenyan Drake tweeted, “If you’re white and you’re wrong, then you’re wrong; if you’re black & you’re wrong, you’re wrong. People are people. Black, blue, pink, green – God make no rules about color; only society make rules where my people suffer and that why we must have redemption & redemption now”

The organization released a statement that said, “As we begin a new week, we continue to share the pain and anger felt by so many over the last seven days. We add our voice to all those condemning the actions that led to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. We recognize they are only the most recent examples of injustice and racism continuing to permeate our communities. But words are not enough. Meaningful societal change will only come through unified actions, and we are committed to being part of that change.”