The Canadian Football League, commissioner and teams are speaking out against the death of George Floyd, which happened in Minneapolis on Monday, May 25.
White police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes while he was handcuffed and restrained on the ground. The 46-year-old black man told Chauvin repeatedly: “I can’t breathe.” However, the pleas were ignored by Chauvin and it resulted in Floyd losing his life.
Protests for equality have ensued around North America.
From the CFL:
Just as we celebrate diversity, we in the Canadian Football League condemn racism in all of its forms, silent and systemic or blatant and violent. In particular, no person should fear for his or her freedom, safety, or life because of the colour of his or her skin.
Commissioner Randy Ambrosie:
As we watch events unfold in the U.S. this weekend, the CFL has issued a statement condemning racism. It’s also important to acknowledge that our country has its own problems with race and our league’s history is far from perfect, even if it is marked by many firsts for black athletes and coaches. I cannot pretend, coming from a place of privilege, to understand what it feels like for those whose lives are marked by the racism they must face every day. But I can stand with them. And I always will.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers:
The Montreal Alouettes’ heart is particularly with our American players and staff at this moment as we are both horrified and saddened by the ongoing events that are affecting our neighbours. The Alouettes have always believed that the diversity in our ranks has been a strong part of our DNA.
Racism doesn’t have its place in our society and we hope all efforts will be made to end racism . To our players, many of you are looked up to not only because of your skills, but because of your perseverance to succeed, your leadership and to do what’s right under pressure. There can be no more pressure in life, than what’s happening today. We need to lead the way and defeat racism.
Diversity is our Strength. In football and in life. On and off the field, we’re there for each other. And, in life, we must do the same. We embrace our collective diversity and stand in unity against all forms of racism.
Riders’ linebacker Solomon Elimimian delivers a personal story of racial profiling and encourages all CFL players to educate while creating positive change in society.
A number of CFL players (past and present) have also spoken out regarding the issue on social media. Below is a sampling of these messages, most of which came out early in the week.
Another day another black man killed by an white officer! What’s new?
At this point we just need to make it where white officers has to have a black officer with them. This getting way out of hand!!! They killing us for sport at this point!!!!!#getWILDER
— James Wilder Jr (@IAm_Wilder32) May 26, 2020
There aren’t many black men who haven’t been a victim of overzealous police officers. I remember walking out of my apartment in Maryland after meeting an agent with a officer pointing a gun at me, I had no clue what was going on. This needs to stop!!
— Geroy Simon (@geroysimon) May 29, 2020
Burning the police station down in Minneapolis #rightnow, so when ppl say this isn’t the way to get justice, my question is how do you get justice. Kap took a knee and some ppl acted like he killed somebody. #BlackLivesMatter March and they still killing us in broad daylight. ????
— Kevin Glenn (@qterback5) May 29, 2020
This isn’t about guilt, or politics, or denouncing law enforcement, or condoning riots, or whatever narrative people try to prescribe when you make a statement. This is about empathy and love for humanity. That’s it. This is about #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd https://t.co/5hGEwRxHUB
— Travis Lulay (@TravisLulay) May 29, 2020
Damn they really killing us like it’s a video game ….
— brandon banks (@speedybanks87) May 26, 2020
“HEAVY HEART” pic.twitter.com/V8D4gZLbI5
— Simoni Lawrence (@Simoni_Lawrence) May 29, 2020
I am here to make a difference, and to help make a change! I love each and everyone of you because that is what I believe in as a Christian! pic.twitter.com/wo7mruB5gC
— Cody Fajardo (@CodyFajardo17) May 31, 2020
Stop trying to "solve our problem" Stop saying you "understand"
Stop telling us what you Think is the right way.
Just listen. We have tried so many times to tell you what we go through but it always ends up about someone else…maybe it's not about you this time…
— BG (@BGrant84) May 30, 2020
My mom now drives behind me on my morning run she said it’s the only way she feels safe letting me run in my neighborhood ???? This is America!
— Justin Renfrow (@RenfrowJustin) May 27, 2020
I peacefully protested for 12hrs yesterday. My feet hurt my lower back is tight, my voice is gone Yet I’m getting dressed for another full day because it’s bigger than me. I know y’all getting tired peacful protestors stay strong brothas n sistas don’t let up!
— James Wilder Jr (@IAm_Wilder32) May 31, 2020
I AM MORE THAN A ATHLETE
I AM A SON
I AM A BROTHER
I AM A UNCLE
I AM A FRIEND
I AM A VOICE
I AM BLACK…….
— Diontae Spencer (@DSpencer4_) May 31, 2020