Grier Addresses Verdict and Race Issues

Miami Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier began his annual pre-draft media session with an emotional statement
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Chris Grier began his annual Miami Dolphins pre-draft media session by reading a prepared statement after accurately pointing out to the reporters on the call that's not something he normally does.

But Grier, one of five Black general managers in the NFL, obviously felt it was important for him to share his feelings about the three guilty verdicts returned against police officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd in May 2020.

Here was Grier's statement:

"Yesterday’s verdict was a very emotional day for me. For me as an African American, there was a sense of relief and sadness. George Floyd was senselessly taken from family and friends. His story was one of many that have taken place in our communities over the years. It’s 2021 and yet, people of color are still asking for equality and justice.

"The jury in Minnesota served notice that police brutality is unacceptable, and people will be held accountable for their actions. We as a people should all be touched by the raw emotions of joy and relief by the verdict.

"The justice system worked for people of color yesterday; however, we cannot forget that a life was lost. I am proud of the work our organization has done in the South Florida community over the years led by Steve Ross, Tom Garfinkel and Brian Flores. Our players are actively out in the community trying to make a real difference.

"There’s a lot of work to still be done in terms of reform and equality. We will continue to do more and ask others to do so as well, across the NFL. We have the opportunity to make things better for everyone in our country. There are a lot of good people that want to make a difference.

"It’s encouraging to hear and see the number of white people and big companies willing to be uncomfortable and speak out against systematic racism. There are a lot of good law enforcement officials who want change for the better. These are good men, women, who uphold their oaths. We need to support them as well.

"We have made tremendous advancements in our way of life, except for dealing with race. It’s not just (Black) people being affected. Look at what’s happening with all the hate being directed towards the Asian community right now.

"I am hopeful, but not naïve to think that this verdict will change things. Politics and rhetoric have created a great divide in our country. We as an organization believe in bringing people together and valuing all human life, and I hope our country can move towards that, too.”