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Saints WR Emmanuel Sanders believes George Floyd could’ve ‘easily’ been him

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders expressed anger at seeing the video of George Floyd’s death last Monday in Minnesota.

Sanders explained he “could have easily” been in Floyd’s position being an African-American man (transcription via Luke Johnson of Nola.com):

“Seeing that video, what upset me was obviously that he was African-American, but I know that could have easily been me,” Sanders said in an interview with the NFL Network. “That’s one of my biggest fears; literally being suffocated, and you can’t do anything about it.”

Sanders also said, “tears rolled down my eyes” after watching the video. Floyd’s death has struck a chord with many Black Americans, including Black athletes. Obviously, Sanders is no exception.

The 33-year-old signed with the Saints in free agency, and will now have to have added dialogue with new quarterback Drew Brees.

Brees said on Wednesday he would “never” agree with NFL players kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice, a statement which has garnered a ton of backlash.

New Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins posted a long message on his Instagram (which has since been deleted), and former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin also addressed Brees’ comments, saying the legendary signal-caller is part of the problem.

The Saints will need to address the issue as a team and have those tough conversations moving forward.

Sanders is expected to be the No. 2 guy in New Orleans behind Michael Thomas. The two-time Pro Bowler averaged nearly 14 yards per reception in 10 games with the San Francisco 49ers last year, and the Saints hope he can eventually add a new element to their offense.

For now, however, Sanders is focusing his time and attention on far more important matters.