Johnathan Abram: Amazing Man, Football Player for Raiders
Everyone had a chance to get to know last year's first-round pick, safety Johnathan Abram, as he was featured on HBO's Hard Knocks featuring the Raiders--from his funny salmon pronunciation to his hard-hitting tackles during practice.
But in these unprecedented times, the Raiders safety speaks up on something so dear to him during this pandemic--essential workers, most notably the ones working in fast-food restaurants.
"If you got enough money, your dinner just appears out of thin air, like magic." Abram said in a letter in the Players' Tribune. "And that's cool, don't get me wrong. That system has helped keep a lot of people safe and healthy during the lockdown. But somebody out there was hunched over a griddle, making that burger."
Abram might have been quiet all last year, as he sustained a season-ending shoulder injury on Week 1 against the Denver Broncos, but he comes out of silence to show his other side of personality.
The Raiders safety recalls his memories of his mother waking up at 5 o'clock in the morning to make a quick meal before heading out the door to work.
"I know that's the truth, because that somebody was my mom -- that somebody still is my mom," added Abram, who continues to work at a Wendy's restaurant in Mississippi.
Just like his mother, many people working in fast-food restaurants depend on their jobs and their paychecks. They don't have the luxury to work from home and sit in on Zoom meetings.
Many of these workers have to put themselves at risk during this pandemic to provide for their families.
"That's why I get so mad whenever I catch somebody looking down on the people working the cash registers and the grills and the drive-through windows and the grocery stores," Abram said. "These are the people who are making this country go, man. This lockdown is no vacation for them."
Abram is bothered by how many people still look down on essential workers, on TV and social media. He's not asking for your sympathy, he's asking for your respect, for the people who keep this country going during this pandemic.
First and foremost, the doctors and nurses are the real heroes. But also the men and women who are working through this pandemic. The garbage men, bus drivers, grocery workers, and the people are working in fast-food restaurants, just like his mother.
Abram's upbringing is about more than perseverance, it's about giving essential workers around the country the respect they deserve.
Abram's mother might have raised him on cheeseburgers and fries, which he is proud of, but his upbringing is more than perseverance. For him, it's about the dedication he has on giving essential workers the respect they deserve.
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