Cowboys Ex Jason Witten Speaks On 'Black Lives Matter'

Mike Fisher

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Jason Witten found himself in the "Black Lives Matter'' discussion last week when former Dallas Cowboys teammate Dez Bryant "invited'' him to join in a march so Witten (and Jerry and Stephen Jones) could "feel'' the experience. Witten's response?

“I know from life experience, some of my best friends, some of the people I respect the most had a much more challenging situation than I did,'' he said, per Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review Journal. "A big reason why was the color of their skin. I think that black lives matter, and I would communicate that to all of my following.”

Witten, who left Dallas for the Raiders via free agency this spring (with Vegas coach Jon Gruden's purpose in doing so to install an instant locker-room leader), said he has spoken with Las Vegas city leaders in an effort to uphold his new franchise's tradition of inclusion. It's worth noting that Witten was front and center in the Cowboys' efforts to bring unity to the community after the summer-of-2017 police shootings in Dallas, and that his community involvement in 2012 won him the NFL's Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award. And, of course, in the latest-headline-grabbing remarks from Bryant, that he reached out to Dez via phone and social media with a "Let's Unite'' message.

“I know the tradition of (late owner) Al Davis and the Raiders organization,'' Witten said. "I felt it when I signed, from (owner) Mark Davis and coach Gruden. I see it with the players, the leaders on that team, the passion they have not to just be the best on the field, but to use that platform to make a difference in this city.”