Over the past two weeks, many people have voiced their desire to join the fight against the social injustices that have plagued the African-American community for centuries. On Friday, John Elway declared his intention to be among that number.
In a statement released via Twitter, the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and Broncos president of football ops and general manager shared how the conversations he’s had with his players and coaches regarding the worldwide demonstrations taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police has motivated him to be an active participant in the movement.
“I’ve spent the last week listening and learning from the players and coaches on our team. What I’ve heard from the players in particular — and watching the way they lead during this time of need — has been moving,” Elway said. “I always thought that since I grew up in a locker room, I knew everything there was to know about understanding teammates from different backgrounds and walks of life. What I’ve realized is that I could not have been more wrong.”
Elway next addressed how players around the NFL have used their influence and social media platforms to confront the issues and detail their experiences, saying that “the strength they have shown and the experiences they have shared” has been “powerful” to watch.
“It has impacted me. I realize I have a long way to go, but I will keep listening and learning. That is the only way to grow,” he said. “I truly believe a lot of good will come from the many difficult conversations that are taking place around our team, league and country.”
Elway took it a step further by stressing how important it is that “players amplify the voices that need to be heard” at this difficult time.
Earlier Friday, NFL Network’s James Palmer reported that Broncos players and coaches, as well as guest speakers, will participate in a player-organized protest at the Colorado State Capitol on Saturday. Palmer added that safety Kareem Jackson had been at the forefront of the organization’s efforts to take action, a real-life example of the type of work Elway eluded to.
The two-time Super Bowl-winning QB wrapped his statement by pledging his full support for those who are “using their platform and influence in a positive way to create change,” and urging others to understand their role in combating injustice against African-Americans in its various forms. He also made it clear that he is all in for the cause.
“Recently, we’ve all heard people say that sports can be a much-needed distraction during such a challenging time. I know that the players, our team and league can be so much more than that. We can all be part of the solution. I also understand that my voice needs to be part of this conversation, too. I am not going to stay on the sidelines. Everyone has a responsibility to help those who are hurting. I am joining with the players, coaches and our organization in speaking up against racism, police brutality and any injustice against the black community.”