Cowboys Ex: 'I Could've Been A Hashtag'
FRISCO - Kavon Frazier recently told an impactful story about civil rights, and he did so within the confines of four tweets - plus a quick personal history review with a twist - that speaks volumes to the complications of some of life in America.
Tweet 1: "Let me tell y’all a quick story for those that don’t understand what’s going on right now. Years ago, when I was about 10 years old, my mom and I decided to go to Meijer (a local grocery store in his home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan).
Tweet 2: "A few minutes later three or four cops pulled up on us and grabbed me and pushed me face forward into the brick wall. They said i fit the description of a guy who had a gun. As a 10 year old, and not having went through anything like this before, I was very afraid.
Tweet 3: "While I was scared to go to jail, my mom was scared for my life, because she knew how black people are treated. All I can remember is my mom confused, yelling from the top of her lungs telling me, 'Don’t move, don’t talk, and do exactly what they say.'
Tweet 4: "As I look back I realize that I could have been a victim of police brutality that day. I was one wrong move from being one of these hashtags. This isn’t new, this have been going on for a very long time and it’s time for a change.''
It's an all-too-common story, of course, and of the sort that is being told more than ever following the police-custody murder of George Floyd.
“It sucks that we have to protest about this in 2020,” Frazier said, via USA Today. "It’s unfortunate. But a change has to be made. ... It’s spreading awareness because a lot of white people don’t really realize what we go through until we speak up and say it or it’s caught on video.”
But for Frazier, the Cowboys safety who this spring signed with the Miami Dolphins, there is a twist - a twist that paints a picture of how complex these issue can be for those involved. ... and for all of us.
When Frazier first arrived in Dallas, he talked about being raised by his mother but also revealed two key male role models. He grew up playing sports at the Seidman Boys & Girls Club. And who guided him to football? Percy Brown, his first coach and mentor, who he calls "a father figure.'' A bit later, a man named Michael Harris joined Brown in mentoring the kid.
Harris has spent the last 15 years in charge of the Seidman Center. His career before that? He was a Grand Rapids police officer.
Percy Brown? His work at the Boys & Girls Club wasn't his job. His career was as a Grand Rapids police officer.
“So,'' Frazier said, "my view of police officers all growing up was all positive.''
See, the concept of "civil rights'' is a simple one. But the way we sometimes arrive there? Complicated.