Falcons players hesitant to speak out on social injustices due to Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid blackballing
Atlanta Falcons players recently decided to stay mum on social injustices as they didn’t want to suffer the same fate of their former colleagues in quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid.
“Several Falcons said some players calculated how much money they had in the bank when considering whether to speak out on contentious topics. They pointed not just to Kaepernick, who hasn’t played in four years, but also to Eric Reid, who continued kneeling after Kaepernick.”
Leading to the recent U.S. Presidential Elections, Falcons players were made aware of the shortage of poll workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic after having a meeting with the late civil rights leader in John Lewis and Carolyn DeWitt (who leads Rock the Vote, a non-profit organization that encourages the younger American citizens to vote).
The players agreed to support a campaign that would encourage people to work at polling centers, an act that they can do without explicitly stating their political stance.
“By doing that, we got way more participation,” said Ricardo Allen, “We were trying not to draw a line, no ‘you versus us.’ We wanted it to be more of a lasting thing.”
Allen served as the leader of the team’s social justice committee which helped his teammates including quarterback Matt Ryan among other white players be more informed about racial injustices in the country.
He also commended how the NBA and the WNBA players have been actively involved all throughout the Black Lives Matter movement leading up to the recent U.S. Presidential Elections.
Despite the desire to do so, Allen and the Falcons would rather have an approach that will be less provoking for all parties involved. In fact, the NFL also supported their previous get-out-the-vote efforts where the league also came up with their own initiative called “NFL Votes” in a bid to achieve the same goal.
Allen and the Falcons players simply didn’t want to stick out their necks too much in order for them not to be on the wrong side of history once again. Both Kaepernick and Reid have previously expressed their political stance by kneeling during the playing of the U.S. national anthem before the games which might have played a role in their exit from the league.
Hopefully, with Joe Biden set to hold office, more players can have the opportunity to freely express their advocacies and fight for what they believe in moving forward.