Wentz admitted as much in his Twitter message late Thursday. He grew up in North Dakota and didn’t have much interaction with people of color most of his life. He admitted he couldn’t know “what the black community goes through.”
But he delivered a strong message that conveyed his sadness and disgust at Floyd’s death in police custody after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck and cut off his oxygen.
Wentz is one of many NFL players to speak out about Floyd’s death, but he is one of the few white players who has shared his thoughts. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt called it “disgusting” and Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said it was “completely unacceptable.” Wentz’s Eagles teammate Zach Ertz posted a message on Friday, offering support.
Most white players have been silent, just as few publicly supported Colin Kaepernick and others during their demonstration to bring attention to police brutality and social injustice. Former Eagles defensive end Chris Long was a notable exception, as he spoke out often against racial injustice and supported his black teammates.
It is said that the support of white teammates will help black athletes in the fight for social justice. Whether that’s accurate, it was unexpected for Wentz to be one of those white players to speak out. Wentz hasn’t really said much about social issues before. But, as he said, he doesn’t “understand the society we live in that doesn’t value all human life.”
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