TAMPA — Following a weekend of demonstrations across the country protesting the death of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer, Bucs quarterback Tom Brady reposted a letter on his Instagram and Twitter accounts Monday from the Players Coalition calling for more accountability in policing.
The letter, first posted Saturday on the coalition’s Twitter account, calls for police chiefs, mayors, prosecutors and the justices of the Supreme Court to do their part in reforming a system that they believe allows bad cops to go unpunished.
Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday, four days after Floyd’s death, which was recorded by an onlooker, garnering national attention. Three other officers on the scene during the incident were fired and are not charged.
“Unfortunately, as civilians, there is only so much we can do,” it reads. “The change has to start from within. Too often we hear of personnel files filled with multiple complaints after the officer has done irreparable harm. And even then, we wait for some form of accountability, some form of justice to be served. Officer Derek Chauvin’s personnel file is riddled with complaints — 18 of them, in fact. If the right people had been watching, listening and acting, George Floyd might still be breathing today.”
“We dream of a police community filled with officers who are committed to the safety and well-being of the people they serve and who are willing to hold themselves and their peers accountable to that standard,” the post ends. “It won’t happen overnight, but it is painfully evident that American policing needs significant structural change. As we fight for that change as the Players Coalition, we can only hope that you, the many good people within our justice system, will push for that change from within.”
This isn’t the first time Brady, who has shied away from political matters for much of his career, showed his support of the coalition recently. Last month, Brady was one of 63 athletes who signed the coalition’s letter calling for a federal investigation into the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black Georgia man who was shot and killed by a white father and son. Though the incident occurred in February, it didn’t gain national attention until a video of the shooting emerged and, eventually, Gregory and Travis McMichael were charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, shared her thoughts on social media on Monday, writing, "No one should ever have to endure the prejudice and unimaginable violence that George Floyd, and so many others, experienced because of the color of their skin.
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“It is absurd,” she continued. “It is unacceptable. It has to stop. We are all human beings. It’s time that we all unite and stand up against violence and racism.”
Cornerback Carlton Davis, who is on the Bucs’ Social Justice Initiative players board, showed his support for protestors with an Instagram post Sunday, but told them that destroying businesses and looting only hurts their communities.
“Let’s keep in mind that we want to be firm and direct and efficient rather than emotional and reckless," Davis said. "So to all you all looting and destroying these businesses, just keep in mind a lot of these businesses are beneficial for our community. So let’s be smart about it, but also allow our voices to be heard.”
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh reposted a video from Nike on his Instagram page. “Let’s all be a part of the change,” the video prompts, along with the hashtag, #UntilWeAllWin.
Tight end Cameron Brate posted a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his Instagram story.
On his Instagram story, wide receiver Chris Godwin posted:
“It’s not white vs. black. It’s everyone vs. racists.”
Fellow receiver Mike Evans shared a retweet from LeBron James bringing attention to a peaceful protest.