Matthew Stafford on popping the bubble of his own privilege
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been fortunate to have lived a privileged life even before he came to the NFL. These tough times riddled with racism issues and systemic oppression dealt against people with color helped the 32-year old to take things into perspective and realize that there are things bigger than the game of football.
“Listen, I’m not some perfect person,” Stafford wrote at ThePlayersTribune.com. “I’m not trying to lecture anybody. I’ve made a million mistakes. I grew up in Highland Park, Texas, which is probably one of the most privileged places in the country. It’s a place that I still love very much, but it’s a bubble. That’s just a fact. I was not exposed to a lot of diversity or different ideas growing up. I was not educated on these issues, and I probably said a bunch of stupid things when I was young that I regret. But a big part of life is about looking inside yourself and trying to evolve as a person.”
The inequality in American society came to Stafford’s realization when he along with Lions wide receiver Danny Amendola took the field to get some reps. The two of them worked out together multiple times in an empty field without incident. However, things changed when some of their Black teammates joined them and were approached by a man who accused them of trespassing and subsequently called the police.
This situationwas a small one in retrospect, but helped convince Stafford to look past his own privilege. Hoping to continue to take steps in the right direction, Matthew Stafford vows to be better and get out of his bubble to better understand the lives of those from different backgrounds.