In the aftermath of the George Floyd murder and subsequent protests for social justice, the NFL has been outspoken about the need for change. The New York Jets players have taken to the social media platform Twitter to express their ideas and commentary on the situation. This roundup of tweets and posts demonstrates the anger, frustration, determination, and resolve that this group of players have.
For the Jets, it begins (and usually ends) with Jamal Adams. Jets safety Jamal Adams joined the New Orleans Saints Michael Thomas, the New York Giants Saquon Barkley, the Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes and many more players in a compilation video sent directly to the league.
Jets safety Brian Poole retweeted the same video 6 times. Before then, he simply wrote #blacklivesmatter in response to the protests following Floyd’s death.
Le’Veon Bell took particular issue with FOX News host Laura Ingraham. He posted a video of Ingraham ripping NBA stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant yet praising Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Brees had made negative comments about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, NFL players en masse took to Twitter, Instagram, and other social platforms to condemn the comments.
Cornerback Blessuan Austin wrote on Twitter, “One problem today is the definition of “Black” in your dictionary. There is an absurd amount of negative connotations associated with the word. What effect do you think these thoughtless adjectives used to describe a “SHADE” have on children psychologically?”
Running back Bilal Powell simply put, “Don’t believe everything you think. Learn to filter your thoughts.”
On June 2, newly acquired running back Frank Gore (who typically stayed away from political or social issues) took part in a social media blackout, to promote Black Lives Matter.
It wasn’t just veteran players. First-round draft pick Mekhi retweeted a series of photos and videos on the subject of social justice.
Newly acquired offensive lineman George Fant took part in peaceful protests in his home state of Kentucky. He also shared the aforementioned players' video featuring his teammate Adams. He also tweeted a video of police officers being overly aggressive with black people. Fant commented, “You can tell that these officers enjoy what they are doing. It’s nothing more than a rush to them. Guarantee that this was all they talked about when they got back to headquarters!”
As the rhetoric continues, and the Jets facility is still not open to players who aren’t rehabbing from an injury, social media will be a platform for players to express themselves. The NFL showed its commitment to stamping out racism with their financial muscle. After publicly affirming the Black Lives Matter movement this week, the league pledged $250 million to help the fight against systemic racism, expanding on a previous agreement with the Players Coalition.