As protests continue to take place across the United States following the death of George Floyd, teams around the NFL have used their platform to stand in solidarity. As one of only two minority owners in the league, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan put the onus on himself to take action.
Khan penned a heartfelt letter denouncing racial injustice while revealing his future efforts to make a change, via the team's official website:
The events of the past 10 days have been alarming and disheartening. Alarming because we know the history of systemic inequity that brought us to this point, not only with the recent killing of George Floyd and other African Americans in our country, but also the disproportionate impact the coronavirus has wreaked in communities of color. Disheartening because this familiar sequence of killing, followed by protest and civic unrest, followed by inactivity and silence, occurs ever more frequently in our nation.
My overarching goal, or mission, is to do my part to level the playing field so everyone has the same access and opportunity to achieve the American Dream, without fear or compromise. As a member of the NFL family, I recognize I have a unique opportunity to address inequity wherever it is present, expand opportunity for all who seek it, and seek justice for all who deserve it. I take that responsibility seriously.
Racial discrimination has no place in our society. That's been said. But, what's been done?
Shad Khan continued by discussing the importance of action in solving the problem:
We must have the answer today, and we will work with players, staff and more to arrive at a timely response. Because this moment, while agonizingly similar in many ways, is unlike any other in our history for underserved people and communities in the United States. We cannot attack the virus of racism with indifference or periodic attention. We cannot expect an easy cure or give up when the quest becomes inconvenient or uncomfortable.
Most of all, we cannot fail our children – children who deserve to know they have the same opportunity to earn a living, have a family and live safely — no matter the color of their skin.
Racism, in all its forms, will kill. It kills people, it kills communities, it kills dreams, it kills hope.
For many Americans, now is the moment. Never has that been clearer.
I don't want to waste this moment.
Shad Khan also gave his own testimony after being born in Pakistan and coming to America with $500 in his pocket. He recalls enduring his fair share of prejudice for not just the color of his skin, but his religious beliefs as a Muslim.
Regardless, Khan emphasized the need to speak out against the social injustice geared toward African Americans by law enforcement. He has since outlined his plans to create economic opportunities in underserved areas while consulting with his players to determine the best curse of action to combat the plague of racism.
Khan, along with Buffalo Bills co-owner Kim Pegula, who is Asian American, are the only two people of color that are named as the principal owners out of the NFL's 32 teams.
While neither has gone through the same plight as the African American community, they are still in a unique position to help usher in some significant change.