Major Support for Flores Statement

Alain Poupart

Brian Flores' statement on race relations and the events that led to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota earlier this week continued to resonates as Friday turned to Saturday.

A tweet of the statement on the Miami Dolphins Twitter account was up to 8,600 retweets Saturday morning, with more than 31,000 likes. On Instagram, the tally was up to more than 25,000 likes.

And a lot of those supporting comments came from current and former NFL players, some of whom played for Flores.

The list of players included former Dolphins such as Byron Jones, rookie fifth-round pick Curtis Weaver and Eric Rowe, current Patriots safety Duron Harmon, former Dolphins players O.J. McDuffie, Sage Rosenfels, Jay Ajayi, Troy Stradford and Jermon Bushrod, longtime Bears linebacker Lance Briggs and former Patriots offensive lineman Damien Woody.

On Instagram, those who "liked" the statement included current Dolphins players Davon Godchaux, Nik Needham, Kalen Ballage, Raekwon McMillan, Jakeem Grant DeVante Parker, Xavien Howard, Matt Haack, Albert Wilson, Christian Wilkins, Rowe, and rookie draft picks Raekwon Davis, Robert Hunt and Blake Ferguson.

Several people tweeted that they became Dolphins fans as a result of the statement.

This was Flores' statement, first released to ESPN:

"I've had the privilege of being a part of many different circles that have included some very powerful and influential people of all different races and genders. The events of the last few weeks have brought some of the memories of those conversations back to light. I vividly remember the Colin Kaepernick conversations. 'Don't ever disrespect the flag' was the phrase that I heard over and over again. This idea that players were kneeling in support of social justice was something some people couldn't wrap their head around. The outrage that I saw in the media and the anger I felt in some of my own private conversations caused me to sever a few long-standing friendships.

"Most recently, I've had conversations about incentivizing teams for hiring minorities. Again, there was some outrage in the media and talks that this would cause division amongst coaches, executives and ownership. I bring these situations up because I haven't seen the same OUTRAGE from people of influence when the conversation turns to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and most recently George Floyd. Many people who broadcast their opinions on kneeling or on the hiring of minorities don't seem to have an opinion on the recent murders of these young black men and women. I think many of them QUIETLY say that watching George Floyd plead for help is one of the more horrible things they have seen, but it's said amongst themselves where no one can hear. Broadcasting THAT opinion clearly is not important enough.

"I lead a group of young men who have the potential to make a real impact in this world. My message to them and anyone else who wants to listen is that honesty, transparency, and empathy go a long way in bringing people together and making change. I hope that the tragedies of the last few weeks will open our hearts and minds to a better way of communicating and hopefully create that change."

Floyd died Monday evening after police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him down with his knee on the back of his neck, an incident that was captured on a video that went viral and showed Floyd repeating that he couldn't breathe.

Chauvin, who was one of four police officers around Floyd at the time, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The criminal complaint said Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck for 2 minutes, 53 seconds after Floyd became non-responsive.

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